Much of chemical bonding can be easily understood if you just understand the basics of human bonding. Just think of men = metals, so women = non-metals.
- Metals (men) tend to bond loosely with other metals. There is often no particular bond with any one other metal atom – just a general bonding within the large group.
- Non-metals (women) tend to form smaller, more tightly bonded groups known as covalent molecules. The formation of these groups involves a lot of sharing. There is a definite structure within the group.
- When metals want to form bonds with non-metals, the metal must give a gift (an electron in this case, but it could as well be dinner or a ring) to the non-metal.
- Metals with more to give often can attract several non-metals. For example, Magnesium has twice as many electrons to lavish on non-metals as Sodium does. Because of this, Magnesium can often form bonds with two non-metals at the same time.
- Conversely, some non-metals are more demanding than others when they form bonds. Magnesium may have enough electrons to get the interest of two Fluorines, but that will only suffice to interest just one, more demanding Oxygen.
- It pays to stay active. Active metals can steal non-metals from less active metals. For example, if a lone Magnesium (an active metal) runs across Lead (an inactive metal) bonded with Oxygen, the Magnesium can steal the Oxygen, reducing the Lead to a lonely, unbonded life.
- Nobles never get involved with non-nobles. In fact, nobles don’t really even bond well with their own kind.