Answer: when an atom loses an electron, it i do not care a cation (positive ion). When an atom benefit an electron, it i do not care an anion.

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This diagram displays the difference between a positively fee ion (cation), a neutral atom, and a negatively fee atom (anion). Source
Ions are produced when an atom loses or gains an electron. Atoms deserve to never shed or acquire protons, as this would change the an essential identity that the atom. The overall charge is identified by the balance between protons and electrons. In the chart below, the negatively charged atom is claimed to have actually a -1 fee while the more positively fee atom has a+1 charge.As was proclaimed before, as soon as an atom loser an electron, it becomes a cation. What kinds of building material can type cations?
Table Salt (NaCl). Image Source
Substances which experience ionic bonding produce a optimistic cation and also a negative anion which are organized together by these fee attractions. Salts, such together the NaCl presented above, are a form of solid which is hosted together through ionic bonding. These ions disassociate in polar solvents, such as water. This is why table salt dissolves in water. In this aqueous state, the Na+ and also Cl- ions start to move approximately freely in the solution and become ions. These totally free moving cations and anions are the reason why this new solution is a an excellent conductor of electricity.
Silver (Ag) Bars. Photo Source
Metals, i m sorry usually type metallic bonds are likewise prone come ionizing. Silver, shown above, practically always ionizes v a+1 charge. There metallic bonds are slightly weaker 보다 the ionic bonds before and that that why they deserve to sometimes lose electrons without lot trouble. The electrons in steels are additionally delocalized, which method that they deserve to move roughly freely. This provides it very complicated to accurately guess what fee most steels will form. The metals with type known charges space Ag (+1), Zn (+2) and also Sc (+3).

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Periodic Table with electronegativies. Darker = greater Electronegativity. Source
To summarize, once an atom loser an electron it i do not care a cation. You will certainly generally elements as cations top top the left-hand side of the routine table, because these facets have a low electronegativity. The same logic have the right to be used to the various other side that the routine table, where you will usually see facets as anions since they have fairly high electronegativities.