Arrange the following elements in order of decreasing electronegativity.
Rank from most to least electronegative. To rank items as equivalent, overlap them.
manganese, fluorine, sodium, phosphorus
The strongly electronegative elements, found in the upper right corner of the periodic table, have a tendency to gain electrons in chemical reactions and are therefore good oxidizers. Because they tend to hold electrons, these elements are good insulators (poor conductors) and are characterized as nonmetals. Nonmetals generally have Pauling electronegativity values of χ ≥ 2.2.
The weakly electronegative elements, making up much of the left side and middle of the table, have a tendency to lose electrons in chemical reactions and are therefore good reducing agents. Because they tend to lose electrons, these elements are good conductors of electricity and are characterized as metals. Metals generally have Pauling electronegativity values of χ ≤ 1.8.
There is a group of elements that have some properties of metals and some of nonmetals. These semimetals (also called metalloids) are characterized by intermediate Pauling electronegativity values of χ ≈ 2.
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