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Which element has the highest electronegativity?
(A) C
(B) Mg
(C) O
(D) S

Last updated date: 20th Jun 2024
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Hint:. To answer the given question we need to have a basic knowledge about the modern periodic table and the trends of it. The trends along the group and across the period are important to be known before solving such illustrations.

Complete step by step answer:
Let us see towards the common trends of periodic table;
Focusing on the given illustration primarily,
- It is a measure of an ability of an atom to attract shared electrons to itself. In general, electronegativity increases as we move from left to right across the period and also decreases from top to bottom along the group.
- In short, electronegativity is the tendency of an atom to participate in the covalent bonding and then attract the bonding electrons towards itself. This ability is specific for each atom in the modern periodic table.

- According to the given options:
C and O are the elements of the same period i.e. II.
Mg and S are the elements of same period i.e. III.
O and S are the elements of same group i.e. XVI.
- Then according to the trend:
O is more electronegative than C.
S is more electronegative than Mg.
O is more electronegative than S.
Therefore, from the analysis we can say that the oxygen is the most electronegative element.
So, the correct answer is “Option C”.

Note: Do note that the Fluorine is the most electronegative element in the modern periodic table. But here there is no comparison with F and that is why, the next element in the table became the most electronegative element.