I've been searching some things regarding the ability of sulfur to accomodate negative charge and reached the conclusion that it's due to its size and its ability to expand its valence shell.

I can't fully understand the expansion part though. It is mentioned in various sites and books that sulfur uses the 3d orbitals due to their similar energy level with 3p orbitals in order to achieve this "expansion". However, 4s are supposed to be filled first. I even came across this question: How does expansion of electron shells work? but the answer given didn't really helped me. So why do we consider the expansion to happen with 3d orbitals, while 4s is filled first?

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    $\begingroup$ I have a feeling we should make some banner next to "top questions" list saying "Octet expansion is outdated and deprecated theory" $\endgroup$ – Mithoron May 15 '18 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ I've also seen that being mentioned. So what is accepeted regarding this phenomenon? $\endgroup$ – Αντώνιος Κελεσίδης May 15 '18 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ That there's no such phenomenon? $\endgroup$ – Mithoron May 15 '18 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ How do we justify the ability of sulfur to create more bonds then? And regarding its ability to accomodate negative charge better than oxygen? $\endgroup$ – Αντώνιος Κελεσίδης May 15 '18 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ chemistry.stackexchange.com/a/5242/9961 I suggest to ignore rest of answers there. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron May 15 '18 at 23:56

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