What is an element? what are the different types of elements?


Elements are described as the simplest chemical compounds in which all atoms are exactly the same. As a species of atoms that have the same number of protons in their atomic nuclei, we may describe elements. Whereas the atoms of an element have the same number of protons, they may have distinct neutron numbers and therefore distinct masses.

Types of elements

The elements are arranged in the periodic table and split as either metallic or non-metallic based on their groups. Metallic is further categorized into Main Group Metals, Transition Metals, and f-block metals. These are again further divided, depending upon their properties.

Metallic elements

  • Majority elements in the periodic table are metals.
  • Metal includes alkali metals, transition metals, lanthanides, actinides and alkaline earth metals.
  • Metals are separated by nonmetals on a periodic table through a zigzag line starting from carbon, till radon.
  • The elements between the two are phosphorus, selenium and iodine.
  • These elements and elements right to them in the periodic table are nonmetals.
  • Elements present just to the left of the line are termed as semimetals or metalloids.
  • These will have the combined properties of both metals and nonmetals.

Non – metallic elements

  • Very few elements in the periodic table are non-metals.
  • These are present on the right-hand side in the periodic table.
  • Elements that come under non-metals are sulphur, carbon, all halogens, phosphorus, hydrogen, oxygen, selenium, nitrogen and noble gases.
  • In the periodic table, non-metals are located to the left of the halogens and to the right of the metalloids.
  • Since noble gases and halogens are also non-metals, these elements are often referred to as non-metals.


  • Metalloids are a very small group of elements found in the periodic table of elements along the zig-zag line that distinguishes metals from nonmetals and is drawn from between boron and aluminum to the border between polonium and astatine
  • List of metalloids are Boron (B), Silicon (Si), Germanium (Ge), Arsenic (As), Antimony (Sb), Tellurium (Te), Polonium (Po).

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