It's an alkaline earth metal. Each hydroxide part of this molecule is going to have a net oxidation state of negative 1. In a neutral atom or molecule, the sum of the oxidation numbers must be 0. So if each of those hydroxides has a negative 1 charge, or a negative 1, I guess you could say, total oxidation state, then when you take two of them together, they would net out against the magnesium.
It's not that electronegative. Now let's think about this one right over here, magnesium hydroxide. It has two valence electrons. Oxidation numbers are assigned to elements using these rules: Rule 1: The oxidation number of an element in its free uncombined state is zero — for example, Al s or Zn s.
Summary Rules for determining oxidation numbers are listed.
Now let's try to work through this or think through this together. We've already seen that something in this group right over here with two valence electrons, it's likely to give them away.
This is also true for elements found in nature as diatomic two-atom elements and for sulfur, found as: Rule 2: The oxidation number of a monatomic one-atom ion is the same as the charge on the ion, for example: Rule 3: The sum of all oxidation numbers in a neutral compound is zero.
Oxidation numbers are used to keep track of how many electrons are lost or gained by each atom.