how to know clarify if the subtance is polar or nonpolar?

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  1. Two things must be true to have a polar substance.
    a. There must be a difference in polarity between the central atom and the other atoms (or for a diatomic material there must be a difference between the two atoms) AND
    b. The molecule must NOT be symmetrical (in a three dimensional sense).
    Unless BOTH a and b are true, the molecule will not be polar.
    For example, CF4 is not polar(a is true but CF4 is symmetrical).
    HF is polar, CO2 is not polar. CHF3 is polar.

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