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Overall, memorizing with some type of correlation or rhyme would probably help with remembering which name goes with which, like I find myself remembering how charges associate with metals or nonmetals but I just mix up the names
A cation is an ion that has a positive charge because it gave away its electron, such as Na+. An anion is an ion that has a negative charge because it took an electron, such as Cl-. It might be helpful to memorize a mnemonic, like that an anion is (A) (N)egative (ION), and a CATion is PAWSitive.
Cations have lost an electron. Because there is now one more proton than electron, it has a positive charge. You can remember this by the t in cation because it's like a positive sign (+). An anion has gained an electron. Because it now has one more electron than proton, it has a negative charge.
Cations and anions have positive and negative charges respectively, but why do they have those charges? Imagine a neutral atom like Silver. In its zero-charge state it has 79 electrons and thus it must also have 79 protons to cancel those charges out so we end up with a net zero. If one electron is removed, then there is an imbalance between the positive and negative charges. In this case, with one fewer electron, the negative force would be weaker than the positive force, so the atom would have a charge of +1, because there is one proton without an electron to "cancel out" the charge. Since the charge is positive, it is a cation. The same logic applies to the formation of cations, only one electron would be added instead of removed for a net negative charge.
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