A solute is a substance that is dissolving in a solvent and is the smaller part of the solution. A solvent is the bigger part of a solution and is the substance that the solute dissolves in.

solvent is a substance, that becomes a solution by dissolving a solid, liquid, or gaseous solute. A solvent is usually a liquid, but can also be a solid or gas. The most common solvent in everyday life is water.

Salt in water

Making a saline water solution by dissolving table salt (NaCl) in water. The salt is the solute and the water the solvent.


You can dissolve not only solids, but also liquids and gases into solids. Gases such as carbon dioxide and oxygen dissolve into water. Fish “breathe out” carbon dioxide and breathe in oxygen from the water. Plants under water “breathe out” oxygen and in carbon dioxide.

Watch the video on liquids dissolving into liquids. Stop just before 2:30 when it switches to the worksheet.


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