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We know that nonmetal oxides will typically form acidic compounds (ie. H2SO4 or HNO3) and that most metals oxides will form basic compounds (ie. CaO or NaO2). However, amphoteric compounds are ones that can have either acid or base character depending on the reaction. Typically, elements near and along the metalloid diagonal band will form amphoteric compounds because they have both metal and nonmetal characteristics. As2O3 and Bi2O3 are amphoteric because they lie near/on the metalloid diagonal line. Meanwhile BaO is basic because Ba is an alkaline earth metal which if bonded with oxygen, creates a base.
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