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QUESTION

# How do polyatomic ions differ from monatomic ions?

The prefix poly- means many and the prefix mono- means one.

Therefore, are composed of many atoms, like NO_3^(-1) and PO_4^(-3).

The nitrate ion NO_3^(-1) is composed of one nitrogen atoms and three oxygen atoms arranged with an imbalance of one extra electron. The phosphate ion PO_4^(-3) is composed of one phosphate ion and four oxygen atoms arranges with an imbalance of three extra electrons. Most polyatomic ions are negative with the main exception being NH_4^(+1) the ammonium ion which is composed of one nitrogen and 4 hydrogen with an imbalance of one less electron.

Monatomic ions are single atoms with a positive or negative charge like Calcium Ca^(+2) having two less electrons and Chloride Cl^(-1) having one more electron.

I hope this was helpful. SMARTERTEACHER