Eli5 what is the difference between oxidation number and the ion charge



I can’t quite grasp the definition of oxidation number

In: Chemistry

Oxidation number is the theoretical charge an atom may have if all bonds to other elements were 100% ionic. For metals, this conceptually makes sense as most things are ionic in their bonding. However, oxidation number doesn’t take into account covalent bonding, which isn’t always accurate. In other words, to be it sort of simply, oxidation number is theory (what could it be) and ion charge is reality (what it actually is.)