1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data [C2O4]-2 ------> CO2 Find if the reaction is oxidation or reduction and determine the no. of electrons lost or gained by carbon. 2. Relevant equations 3. The attempt at a solution I started with finding the oxidation states of both elements. It's 3+ and 2- for carbon and oxygen on the LHS and 4+ and 2- for carbon and oxygen on the RHS. But i am having trouble in interpreting these values. the OS of carbon goes from 3+ to 4+. My interpretation of this was that C had lost 3 electrons on the LHS while lost 4 electrons on the RHS to O. Hence I thought that C should have gained 1 electron. And this means it's reduction and that's the wrong answer. Can someone please correct my interpretation and help me out with this? This is quite a silly and basic question. Please bear with me, I am new to this.