What Are Characteristics of Liquids?

Pavlina Jane/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Liquids consists of particles that are close together with no set arrangement, can flow easily, can take on the shape of any container it occupies and cannot be compressed easily. There are three main states of matter: solids, liquids and gases. Liquids are considered the second state, between solids and gases.

Liquids are similar to solids in that their particles are packed tight enough that they cannot be compressed further. In contrast, gases have particles that have large amounts of space between them. Liquids differ from solids, because their particles are not fixed and rigid and can move freely past each other. Because liquids contain particles that can spread out and change shape depending on the container, they resemble gases.