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No such thing as a dumb question, David!! And, to answer your question, nonmetals (right side of periodic table) do not form cations because they only gain a few electrons to fill their octet, meaning they become anions. Metals, on the other hand, lose electrons to fill their octet. Hope this helps! I can give you a more detailed response if you would like! :)
Last edited by 705192887 on Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just to reiterate, nonmetals(anions) cannot become cations due to their high electronegativity and lack of electrons in their valence shell. Nonmetals such as chlorine with 7 valence electrons only needs one more electron to complete their octet so they would attract other elements in giving up an electron to complete the octet instead of giving up one of their own electrons.
Henry Dudley 1I wrote:If a metal bonds with a nonmetal is this considered a covalent bond?
Usually the bond formed between a metal and a nonmetal is an ionic bond. But it may have a covalent character as the nature of the bond formed between two atoms really depends on the electronegativity between the two atoms that will bond together.
Take AlCl3 as an example, supposedly Al-Cl should be an ionic bond, but because Cl- is highly polarizable while Al3+ has a high polarizing power, the electron density existed between cation and anion becomes shared between them, and hence the Al-Cl bond takes a pretty strong covalent character, so it is actually considered as a covalent bond.
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