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when you take (at least) 1 thing (the solute)(like a salt) and stick it in another thing (the solvent)(like water) and the solute molecules all give up their solute-solute interactions, replacing them with solute-solvent interactions, acquiring a full coat of the solvent. Dissolving does not break covalent bonds, but can break up ionic bonds (so sucrose molecules stay sucrose molecules but electrolytes like NaCl dissociate into their component ions (so Na⁺ & C ⁻)