# Stronger reducing agent

Why H$_2$Te is a good reducing agent than H$_2$O .

I think it should be opposite as in water , oxygen has only tendency to release electrons .

• Are you sure about the statement about oxygen's affinity for electrons? – airhuff Jan 26 '17 at 8:44
• @airhuff yes it is given in my book – user123733 Jan 26 '17 at 8:45

By any scale, oxygen is among the most electronegative elements. More to the point, electronegativity decreases as you go down a period, so $\ce{Te}$ is much less electronegative, much more able to give up its electrons, than oxygen. Thus, $\ce{H2Te}$ makes a better reducing agent than $\ce{H2O}$.