Cations and Anions table with difference

If you have attended a Biology class, you have probably already heard about atoms, elements and compounds ; However, it is likely that some details related to those topics have not been covered in a deep and complete way, which is why although you may know what atoms are, you do not understand what the difference is between anion and cation. Cations and Anions table with difference

If you certainly have doubts about it or just want a little more complementary information, then continue reading, because below we will tell you what distinguishes a cation from an anion.

CATION  Cations and Anions table with difference

A cation is an atom or a molecule whose electrical charge is positive, that is, its number of protons exceeds the number of electrons in the nucleus.

The word ‘cation’ derives from the Greek ‘kata’, which means ‘down’. Cations are found in metallic elements, such as iron (Fe).

When a cation such as sodium is presented (Na +) the accompanying “+” indicates that it has one electron less than the total number of protons. If the + sign is followed by a number (such as 4), then it would be indicating that there are four electrons less than the total number of protons.


On the other hand, an anion is an ion with a negative electrical charge that is attracted to an anode (positive electrode) in electrolysis. In this case, unlike what happens with a cation, the anion is characterized by having a greater number of electrons than protons.

The word “anion” comes from the Greek word “ano”, which means “above.” The elements in which anions are present are non-metals.

Some examples of anions are: sulfide (S2-), chloride (Cl-), among others.

Finally, as a result of having positive and negative electrical charges, anions and cations often form bonds known as ” ionic bonds .” These are formed thanks to the mutual attraction of opposing charges.

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