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Do nonmetals form ions? I am asking this because I was reading something and I came across the phrase "metal ions," which left me to wonder whether or not there are nonmetal ions as well.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to chemistry.SE! If you had any questions about the policies of our community, please ‎visit the help center. || There are a lot of nonmetal ions. The book may wanted to separate the two because the metals usually form cations. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Aug 27 '15 at 21:54
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In short, yes. Single-element ions are common for both metals and non-metals. Some simple examples: $\ce{F^{-}, Cl^{-}, I^{-}, S^2-}$ Multi-element non-metal cations are a bit more common: $\ce{NH4+}$ and $\ce{H3O+}$ being the obvious examples and there are plenty of anions like $\ce{CN-}$, $\ce{SO4^{2-}}$, $\ce{NO3-}$, etc. Things like proteins and polypeptides are also frequently ions in solution and may be positively or negatively charged depending on the pH.

Simply due to their electronegativities, all the single element non-metal ions are anions in solution, but in the gas phase, all bets are off and you can knock off an electron to get a cation, (or have negatively charged metal ions) so long as it doesn't bump into anything else.

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Ammonium nitrate is a fertilizer that is composed of nonmetal ions.

There are myriad other examples.

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Ions are classified into cation and anion, cation is a positive ion and anion a negative ion. Cations are mostly from metal nature while anions are mostly from non-metals, so yeah there are non-metal ions!

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