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Atoms from n=3 and on, such as P, S, and Cl can have more than 8 valence electrons as they had a d-orbital to put electrons there. They are able to have an expanded octet since there is an empty orbital (d) that is not used. Atoms on row 2 can't have expanded octets.
From the best of my knowledge, I know that if that element is either in or after row 3, it may have more than an octet. Also, if an element is usually past the atomic number of 20, it may have more than an octet as well. Hope this helps.
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