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The easiest way to figure out which one goes in the middle is the one that has the LOWEST ionization energy, so which ever atom is higher up and more to the left than the other. It is also easy if there is a molecule like PBr5 to know which one will be in the middle, which is P because there is only one of them and the Br would surround it because that makes the molecule the most symmetrical. Hope that helps!
The atom that goes in the middle is the one with the lowest ionization energy. You can figure that out using the periodic table trends for ionization energy. The further right you go in a row, the higher the ionization energy is. The further down you go in a column, the lower the ionization energy. One thing to note is that carbon ALWAYS goes in the middle.
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