How to Identify Metals, Semimetals, Nonmetals, and Halogens

As we learned in our last lesson, scientists know of at least 118 elements – and there are probably more to come. Most of these elements are metals.

Where do you find metals on the Periodic Table of the Elements? They are on the left and center, since there are so many of them. But we thought a little Element Spotting Guide wouldn't hurt. You should probably look at the Periodic Table of the Elements while you read this lesson. Notice that hydrogen is considered a nonmetal, as well as all of Group 18, most of Groups 17 and 16, and some from Groups 15 and 14. The metalloids (sometimes called semimetals) are 7 elements that occupy a stair-like trend in the large block on the right. All the rest are metals.