How could/would determine whether a substance is ionic or not?
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Generally, an ionic compound is a compound consisting of a positively-charged metal cation bonded to a negatively-charged nonmetal anion or polyatomic ion.
An ionic compound usually contains a metal-cation (looses valence electrons to become positive) and a non-metal(anion gains electrons to have complete outer shell- goal of 8 electrons). An exception is polyatomic ions like carbonate(CO3), which has a negative two charge. With polyatomic ions the elements that make up the ion are bonded covalently, the ion as whole bonds as an ion.
Yeah but all those are answers to "what an ion is"
Determining if a substance is ionic can be done be for example making a solution with water and testing its conductivity (subtract the conudctivity of your plain water first).