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Ionic character often involves around an atom donating its electron for the other atom, while covalent character involves 2 or more atoms sharing electrons. You can tell whether a molecule has covalent bond or ionic bond by finding the difference in electronegativity of the atoms. If the difference is greater than 2 than the bond is ionic and if the difference is less than 1.5 then the bond is covalent.
In an ionic bond electrons are being donated and in covalent bond electrons are being shared. Ionic compounds are very soluble in water as they are polar like the water. Covalent compounds are non-polar and not soluble in water.
To expand on the first response, we refer to bonds as being on a spectrum between covalent and ionic character because a given bond may not be perfectly covalent nor ionic; while a bond with an electronegativity difference of 0.1 has high covalent character, it nonetheless is not a perfectly equal sharing of electrons. Conversely, it could be said to have a minute ionic character (there is a small amount of unequal electron sharing).
The primary difference of these two types of bonds is that atoms in an ionic bond have a greater difference in electronegativity than the atoms in a covalent bond. Due to the complete oppositely charged atoms in an ionic bond, electrons are donated from one atom to the other. However, electrons in covalent bonds are shared and create partial charges depending on the electronegativity of each atom.
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