# What is the oxidation Number of sulfur in SO_2 and SO_3?

Feb 15, 2017

+4 and +6

#### Explanation:

Total oxidation number of atoms in a compound is zero.

The more electronegative element exhibits its typical oxidation number, so in this case oxygen is the more electronegative element, so it exhibits oxidation number -2.

Therefore in $S {O}_{2}$ the oxidation number of sulphur is $0 - \left(2. - 2\right) = - \left(- 4\right) = 4$

And in $S {O}_{3}$ using the same calculation it equates to 6.