Chemical reaction

I'm in need of help answering a lab question..the answer seemed obvious but I was told it was wrong, unless she lied. anyway, the question is when mixing chemicals in a test tube, what other chemical is present in the test tube that allowed the reaction to take place, but does not take part in the actual reaction?

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spectator ions?

Yeah. or to some extent a catalyst.

The answer has to be one or the either. I'm leaning towards catalyst now.

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