Properties of Metals and Non-metals

Differences between Metals and Non-metals
Differences between Metals and Non-metals

The Differences between Metals and Non-metals are given here. It is easy to confuse metals and nonmetals, especially if it is the first time we are beginning to study chemistry. To differentiate them we must know the concepts that define them:

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Metals are solids excepts mercury, with high melting points and boiling points. about half of the non-metals are gases. They have low melting and boiling points.
Metals have characteristics of luster, known as metallic luster, and can be polished. Non-metals do not have lusture like metals and can not be polished.
They on hitting with hammer give off notes i.e. they are sonorous. They are not sonorous and break on hitting.
They are malleable and ductile that is they can be converted into sheets and wires. They are neither malleable non-ductile.
They have relatively high densities. They have relatively low densities.
Metals have great tensile strength and can withstand stress and strain. They are usually brittle and break easily when subjected to stress or strain.
They are good conductors of heat electricity. They are generally bad conductors of heat electricity.
Some common metals are iron (Fe), copper (Cu), aluminum (AI), and chromium (Cr). Some common examples of non-meals are Sulphur (S), carbon  (C), oxygen (O2), and chlorine (CI2).



This is the name given to all the chemical elements characterized by being good conductors of heat and electricity. They are characterized by having a high density and by being solid at room temperature with the notable exception of mercury. Being in solution, its salts form electropositive ions.

According to materials science, a metal is that material in which there is an overlap between the valence band and the conduction band in its electronic structure. This is what gives it the ability to conduct heat and electricity as well as the ability to reflect light.

it is an element that ionizes by the loss of electrons to form a positive ion easily.

These types of materials react chemically with non-metals.

The metals include the alkali and alkaline earth as well as the transition metals.

Metals make up most of the periodic table.


Non-metals are chemical elements that are not good conductors of electricity and heat. They are weak and cannot be stretched or made into sheets.

Of the 118 known elements, only 25 are non-metals. They have very diverse chemistry and are often essential to biological systems.

In the group of nonmetals, we find halogens and noble gases, some are not in these groups. Hydrogen’s unique properties set it apart from the other elements.

Nonmetals are the elements to the right on the Periodic Table of Elements.

Write the chemical differences between metals and non-metals.



The oxides of metals are basic in character. The oxide’s non-metals are acidic in character.
When dissolved in water form an alkaline solution. When dissolved in water form acidic solutions.
Metals ionize by the loss of electrons to form +ve ion. They ionize by the gain of electrons to form –ve ion.
Metals have few electrons in their valence shells so have greater tendency to lose electrons during chemical reaction to form electrovalent or ionic compounds and form +ve ions. Non-metals have more electrons in their valence shells, so they have the tendency to accept electrons in chemical reactions to form ionic or electrovalent compounds and form –ve ions.

suggested video: Metals vs Non-metals

Properties of Metals and Non-metals

  • Metals are lustrous elements with low electronegativity and low ionization energy, so they give up electrons and hardly gain them. This property also allows them to be good conductors of electricity and heat.
  • Nonmetals are not shiny and are poor conductors of heat and electricity. It has high electronegativity and ionization energy. They react with metals.

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