Q:

Do metals tend to gain or lose electrons?

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Quick Answer

Metals have the tendency to lose electrons. The type of chemical bonding formed by atoms of metallic elements is called metallic bonding.

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Full Answer

In terms of gaining or losing electrons, the elements of the periodic table are classified into three categories: inert gases, nonmetals and metals. Generally, inert gases do not readily gain nor lose electrons, while nonmetals are more likely to acquire electrons. Metals contain low ionization energies, which refer to the amount of energy required to free or remove an electron. These elements also have low electron affinities, or the attractive forces between an incoming electron and the nucleus of an atom. The lower the ionization energies and electron affinities of an atom are, the greater the tendency to lose electrons.

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