chemical equation - question

Hello,

i am reading an example and it is given like this :

Silver + Sulfur ---> Ag2S

i understand the second part (Ag2S) . The charge of S =2 etc..
But on the first part Silver has a charge of 1 (correct) but Sulfur has a charge of 6 , +_ 2, 4.
How do i know the charge of the sulfur on the first part ?
Also , i think the equation is not balanced right .
ideas?
c_hocklandAsked:
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Infinity08Commented:
You shouldn't look at this as a balanced equation.

Look at the left side of consisting of an infinite supply of silver (Ag) and Sulfur (S), and the right side as the resulting infinite supply of silver sulfide (Ag2S).

The balanced form would be (as you no doubt know) :

    2 Ag + S --> Ag2S
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Infinity08Commented:
And to answer your question about the charges :

    Ag : charge +1   (Noted as Ag(+) )        <--  oxidation state 1  (the only one)
    S : charge -2   (Noted as S(2-) )            <-- oxidation state -2  (because Ag2S is a sulfide)
    Ag2S : no charge

So :

    2 Ag(+)  +  S(2-)  -->  Ag2S

balances out nicely.
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c_hocklandAuthor Commented:
ok, i think i got it. Thanks so much.
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