CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF NONMETALS


Remember, the chemical properties of elements are determined by the number of electrons in the outermost energy level. Atoms of most nonmetals have 5, 6, 7, or 8 electrons in their outermost energy level. Atoms with 5, 6, or 7 valence electrons gain 3, 2, or 1 electron, respectively, when they combine chemically. Thus nonmetals are elements that tend to gain electrons. Perhaps you are wondering about the nonmetals whose atoms have 8 valence electrons. Atoms with 8 valence electrons have a complete outermost energy level. So elements whose atoms have 8 valence electrons tend to be nonreactive or rarely react with atoms of other elements. 

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