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No, they can't only have positive oxidation numbers in compounds.

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Q: Can metals have positive and negative oxidation numbers?
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Related questions

Does a metal or nonmetal have both positive and negative oxidation numbers?

All metals have positive oxidation numbers. Non-metals may have positive or negative oxidation numbers and some metalloids have both positive and negative oxidation numbers as well

Do metals have both positive and negative oxidation numbers?

No, the can only have positive oxidation numbers

How do oxidation numbers determine if an element is a metal or a nonmetal?

Generally, metals attain positive oxidation numbers only. Non metals can have either positive or negative oxidation states. If an oxidation number is a negative value, it can be deduced that it's a non metal element.

Do nonmetals have positive and negative oxidation numbers?

Non- metals may indeed have negative and positive oxidation numbers in thier compounds. Example chlorine- -1 in NaCl, +1 in ClF, +3 in ClF3, +5 in ClF5

Where on the periodic table has a positive oxidation number?

Positive oxidation numbers are most common with the metals - groups 1 to 13. However there are many well known compounds where non-metals have positive oxidation numbers- for example NaClO4 where Cl has an oxidation number of +7

What is an oxidation number and how does an atom get one?

Before involving any chemical reactions or bonds, an atom has an oxidation number of zero. Accepting electrons will lower the oxidation number to negative numbers. Discharging electrons such as metals will result in positive oxidation numbers.

Are electron affinity values usually positive or negative numbers?

Positive for nonmetals and negative for metals

Which elments are cations positive oxidation state?

Metals form cations and have positive oxidation states.

Why are the oxidation numbers of alkali metals always positive?

Becaus ethey have the weakest electronegativity causing them to share or lose their electrons.

What are electrons that get borrowed or stolen called?

Outer electrons are the electrons that are borrowed or stolen in a reaction. Because a non-metal has a negative oxidation number, it will borrow electrons from a metal to complete its outer shell. Metals have positive oxidation numbers and tend to lose electrons in reactions.

Why do nonmetals have a negative oxidation number?

non metals accept electrons. Hence they show a negative oxidation number (negative denotes that the element accepts electrons)

Do non-metals become positive or negative as ions?

It is possible to make positive ions of nonmetals e.g. oxygen, chlorine, by putting enough energy into them. They normally form negative ions when in a spontaneous reaction.