Hello, Firstly, I apolagize if this should go in "HW help". It isn't homework, and the question doesn't fit the format of "HW help", but it is so elementary, so I don't know. I'll write my questions in bold. Although I think I understand what redox reactions are--a reaction in which an element gains an electron from another element--I am confused about some of the language. The first sample exercise in the textbook regarding oxidation numbers is "Is the conversion from SO2 to SO42- oxidation or reduction". This question doesn't make sense to me: don't we say "does specific element get oxidized or reduces in such in such reaction?". When it solves the problem, it begins by saying "The process is oxidation if the oxidation number of sulfur increases, reduction if it decreases", so I interpreted this question as "Is sulfur reduced or oxidized when going from SO2 to SO42- ?" Is that correct? Even if the way they phrased it was shorthand for my question, I'm still confused. Both Sulfur and Oxygen have high electronegativtiy and are nonmetals; shouldn't the bonds be more covalent than ionic, and so oxidation doesn't really apply? Similarly, in a different question, the textbook asks whether H2O2 is oxidized or reduced in the reaction C6H8O6 + H2O2 --> C6H6O6 + H2O . How can H2O2 be oxidized or reduced!? Shouldn't they be asking whether the Hydrogen is oxidized or reduced, or whether the Oxygen is oxidized or reduced?