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If you were just given the ion, you would first find the total charge of the ligands and identify the overall charge of the ion. The charge of the metal + the total charge of the ligands should add up to the overall charge of the ion. For example, if you were given [Co(CN)6]-3, you would identify that each CN has a charge of -1, and since there are 6 of them, the CN ligands are contributing -6 to the overall charge. However, you are also given that the overall charge of the ion is -3, which means that the Co atom must have a charge of +3 since +3-6=-3.
Ghadir Seder 4F wrote:How would the calculations differ if the ligand was neutral?
If the ligand was neutral, you would still do the calculations the same way. If the compound has a net charge but the ligands are all neutral, then that net charge must come from the metal ion and its oxidation state would equal this net charge.
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