# When a metal atom combines with a nonmetal atom, the nonmetal atom will

$(a)\;\text{lose electrons and decrease in size} \\(b)\;\text{lose electrons and increase in size} \\ (c)\;\text{ gain electrons and decrease in size} \\ (d)\;\text {gain electrons and increase in size}$

Metals tend to lose electrons (becoming smaller ions) while nonmetals tend to gain electrons and become larger ions.
Hence c is the correct answer.