I am studying chemistry in High School and I am studying my ions(Because I failed too in the beginning, oops) and I have a question on this reasoning: In Phosphate(PO4), it has a charge of -3. The only way for this to make sense is if half the atoms of oxygen are positive and half are negative bring a positive charge of 4 and negative charge of -3 along with phosphorous being -3. Meaning that there is a total of Negative charge of 7 and positive charge of 4 leaving the total charge of the ion of -3. How come this happens?
closed as unclear what you're asking by Mithoron, airhuff, Tyberius, bon, Geoff Hutchison Feb 15 '18 at 18:28
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All the oxygen atoms have the same oxidation number $-2$. The charge balance then tells that the phosphorous atom has be at a state $+5$. That's the entire story.