A student discussion

Listen to two students comparing Mars and Earth to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Teacher: So you've got a few minutes to discuss with your partner.

Student 1: So, as far as I know, the main similarity between Mars and Earth is that they can both support human life.

Student 2: Yeah, but do we know that's actually true? I mean, Mars is much colder than Earth, isn't it? It says here it's about minus 55 degrees most of the time, whereas on Earth only places like Antarctica get that cold.

Student 1: True. Well then, I suppose you could say both planets are a similar distance from the Sun?

Student 2: No way! Mars is much further away! It says here it's about 228 million kilometres, while Earth is about 150 million.

Student 1: Yes, but in space that's not that far. Jupiter is, like, almost 780 million kilometres. That's why we use astronomical units when we talk about distances in space. Earth is 1 astronomical unit from the Sun and Mars is 1.3. The difference doesn't sound so big when you look at it that way.

Student 2: I see what you mean. Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units so I guess you're right. What other similarities are there between the two planets?

Student 1: Let's see … not the colour, obviously!

Student 2: Yeah! Earth is called the blue planet and Mars is called the red planet for pretty obvious reasons!

Student 1: Their sizes are pretty different. Mars is about half the size of Earth.

Student 2: What about this? It looks like the days on both planets are almost the same length. Earth's day is 24 hours but Mars's is about half an hour longer.

Student 1: You're right. OK, any other things they both share?

Student 2: I suppose you could say they have water in common.

Student 1: Could you? How?

Student 2: Well, Earth is 70 per cent water and Mars probably had huge oceans in the past. It's just that most of the water there now is probably frozen.

Student 1: Ah, I see. I don't think we can say the air is the same, though. Most of Earth's air is nitrogen and oxygen, but Mars …?

Student 2: Mars doesn't really have air, not compared with Earth. It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth.

Student 1: Right, and it's mostly carbon dioxide.

Student 2: Gravity is another difference. I didn't know this, but Mars has higher gravity than the Moon. But it's much less than on Earth, of course.

Student 1: Oh, yes. It says Mars has about 38 per cent of Earth's gravity.

Teacher: OK, let's see what you've found …

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Worksheet82.41 KB

Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by Kyaw San Oo on Sat, 28/03/2020 - 17:04

Supposed, when people can live on Mars the essential things could be huge expensive.

Submitted by Nurten on Sat, 28/03/2020 - 12:27

I think people can not live in Mars.But we can find solutions to live in there because the world is going worse

Submitted by theguest22 on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 09:17

I don't think that, due to God created the earth to live on it, and if that happens it's not be common,because it will be expensive and it would be just for famous human . I think or who has feasible to move there.

Submitted by Wesley54 on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 03:15

Perhaps there could be life on Mars in a long-term future. If the developed countries made from now on more investment in technology, innovation and science, then a life in space would be true.

Submitted by PAMARTIN on Sun, 22/03/2020 - 20:44

I think human will live on mars in a very long future. Astronauts already live in space today, in the ISS international station. Who would have believed about it 50 years ago?

Submitted by jason2295 on Wed, 18/03/2020 - 00:31

I think so because in few years we will have the technology to do possible people can live in other planet.

Submitted by nochi1421 on Thu, 12/03/2020 - 21:02

I don´t think so. Seeing the behaviour of the people in this days, i pretty sure that the thing is going to occur fist is the extinction of almost all the humanity because of the wars, new diseases and global warming.

Submitted by Ammaraf on Mon, 09/03/2020 - 13:48

Yes maybe in the future but not in open areas, in settlements which will be protected from the rough climate on Mars planet, in this case I think the planet will be our second home after earth.

Submitted by Mansoori on Mon, 09/03/2020 - 08:51

I think living on the other planets can be feasible,however it needs knowledge and experiment.Maybe the next generation can move on there.
I think to live in others planets it can be feasible,however it will be needed the knowledge and do experiments. Maybe the next generation can move on there. reply

Submitted by concha62 on Sun, 01/03/2020 - 19:16

We have so many problems on Earth without solutions I would not think what will happen if human will live on Mars.

Submitted by Rzayev aydin on Wed, 26/02/2020 - 09:42

I think people can't live there.Because there are a lot of dangers in Mars.Especially radiation.

Submitted by vilma caram on Tue, 25/02/2020 - 13:17

I don't believe human can leave in Mars.We aren't adapted for living in another atmosphere
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Submitted by Nikolaos Stavr… on Mon, 24/02/2020 - 15:07

I say yes, but that will be after many years and I really don't know if people on Earth will have survived until then.

Submitted by mselmi on Wed, 19/02/2020 - 21:16

As it's always very cold and there is no enough oxygen like on earth, it's very difficult that man can one day live on Mars. If this will happen one day, it will not be confortable and will not go beyond the experimental step.

Submitted by Sara mohammed on Mon, 17/02/2020 - 22:10

I think life on mars will be possible one day in the future through the advanced facilities provided by technology

Submitted by shahhoseini on Mon, 10/02/2020 - 14:29

No, I don't. I think life on Mars is impossible.

Submitted by galina.radkova on Tue, 04/02/2020 - 18:58

The topic is very interesting and actual. It was nice to hear this conversation.

Submitted by danunahoi on Tue, 04/02/2020 - 13:19

Task 1 answers said that: "Earth has less carbon dioxide". But we can see in the text: "Student 2: Mars doesn't really have air, not compared with Earth. It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth. Student 1: Right, and it's mostly carbon dioxide." It means that at least 50% of Mars atmosphere consists of CO2. Let's even take 10%. And, according to the text, we can esteem: this CO2 volume is 0,1% of Earth air, whereas CO2 on Earth takes only 0,04% of total Earth air volume. Therefore we can accurately say, that Earth has MORE carbon dioxide. IMHO this question is generally incorrect

Hello danunahoi

You are right, that question is a bit confusing and perhaps even wrong. I've reworded that part of the exercise so that it's clearer now.

I'm very sorry for the confusion. Thanks very much for taking the time to help us improve this page!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by huyentran on Tue, 04/02/2020 - 03:07

i think human have the way to live in Mars but The environment on Mars is not suitable for humans. I think it would be great if humans could make the trip to Mars for everyone.
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Submitted by Apiw on Mon, 27/01/2020 - 20:02

although living in mars is very interesting ; living human in mars for long time is very bad effect in our body . we must think about gravity the mars ; because the human body made for living in earth and if we live in mars we get sick suck as less the body bones then we could't grow our children in mars.

Submitted by GEORGINA on Mon, 27/01/2020 - 14:34

if it was possible to live in mars, i think that people will be already there

Submitted by Filiz on Thu, 23/01/2020 - 13:21

Maybe, while the population on our planet is increasing rapidly, natural resources on earth is decreasing. But similarly the technology and scientific resources are developing fastly. Now scienists have sent steliates to make new researches. Perhaps it is not possible for people to live in mars in near future,but most probably our grandchildren would be living in there.

Submitted by masoma123 on Tue, 14/01/2020 - 22:30

yes , I think because technology grow more day by day and make new things for comfort life and unfortunately the earth getting hot day by day and living here getting hard so we need find place for living . I think one day human can live on Mars.

Submitted by Chewlim on Tue, 14/01/2020 - 20:08

As far as I know, Mars only has one per cent air of earth's air, consists of carbon dioxygen, which is impossible for human beings to live in; not mention that all the water in Mars is frozen now, which is a necessity for people's life. So based on the lack of the two facts, it is so far not realistic for people to live in Mars unless the atmosphere would have changed.
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Submitted by walidel7 on Sun, 12/01/2020 - 17:27

In order to improve my skills in English especially in listen skill , I set plan for one month to improve my score from A2 to B1 , I hope I will capable to hear easily and can to do exercise in any website. Yes I can to achieve 6 score in IELTS exam and get opportunity for scholarship in Phd in pediatric nursing. Best wishes for all

Submitted by Bernice on Fri, 10/01/2020 - 15:56

Yes, I do actually. As we could see Mars gets the suitable environment for people to live on as it used to have water which could obviously sustain human's life. I believe that part of us will move up to there in the future when we invent the equipment that could send us to Mars safely. I would like to be one of that.(∩▽∩)

Submitted by Lee137 on Fri, 03/01/2020 - 20:59

To be honest, I think humanity would find its own destruction before being able to get to Mars at least. Apparently Governments are eager to start a great war and that means there would be a lot of destruction and therefore, the projects to reach Mars would be affected and delayed. I have to admit it'd be great to see humanity reaching that planet. Something totally historical.

Submitted by Pablo88 on Mon, 30/12/2019 - 20:52

I think that the people can’t live on Mars, because there aren’t the normal condition to allow the human life (extreme temperature excursion, less gravity , air composition etc). Furthermore on Mars there aren’t any kind of food for the human. But in the future, after a important develop of space travel will can possible only visit the planet and stay few day, and the people will try the life on the space and over other planet.

Submitted by Lincoln01 on Mon, 30/12/2019 - 10:28

Mars cannot support life due to the attributes listed. However, we have to protect the earth and make it a better place because it remains the only home for human existence

Submitted by Fikymaulana on Sat, 28/12/2019 - 09:36

If mars is possible for human life When the earth would be destroyed. In my opinion, I wouldn't be the who fly to mars including all of you.
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Submitted by Mohamad-Altaha on Tue, 24/12/2019 - 18:27

I absolutely believe that there will never be life on Mars, but we should save our planet instead of thinking about life on Mars. To make our planet greener

Submitted by muradovkamran on Tue, 24/12/2019 - 17:12

Maybe...Elon Musk has already sent a car to there for future's people. But in that theme I can be negative. Because, I suppose not people of Earth are ready to live on Mars. İnstead of planning living on Mars, humans could make better life on Earth! Does anyone agree with my opinion?

Submitted by username123 on Mon, 09/12/2019 - 17:10

I suppose that, one day, people will definitly live on Mars This thing will happen when our Earth will be destroyed by future generation...

Submitted by le van son on Mon, 25/11/2019 - 15:07

Yes, I think people can live on Mars in the future when Earth destroy by people and Mars will be future.

Submitted by Wahib Al-Ammari on Sat, 23/11/2019 - 07:49

In order to live on Mars, or any other planet, we need four basic elements: food, water, air, and warm. It is seem impossible to deliver these thing from the earth to Mars. The shortest period to transport from earth to Mars about 8 months. If we need to create these requirements on Mars itself, then we need a fertilized land to farm food, plants to dissolve frozen water, producing oxygen, and controlling the temperature. All these things need very high cost and technical abilities. May be with the fast evolution in the novel technology, these issues will be addressed. May be our sons will be there, I hope so.
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Submitted by Sergey Sh on Thu, 31/10/2019 - 03:22

Did anyone hear about 2030s mission to Mars? That’s NASA project, as far as I know, of sending people on Mars to settle. What kind of person you need to be to go living on Mars? There is an official website on this subject where everybody can sign in and apply to become one of discoverers. I happened to read of what people who were involved to the program said. Some of them were really engaged and had their motivation to make big contribution and promotion in humanity and science, it’s ok, but some others came clean they’re tired of living on Earth, a weird notice, as for me, isn’t ? Anyway, that’s going to be interesting to watch about how the program will work by 2030. I really doubt anyone could live on Mars cause of inappropriate living conditions there, but if NASA established the program it looks like they’re sure that it’s possible. There lots of research had been let on this subject to admit it, so I tend to rely and agree that it might be possible to live on Mars.

Submitted by ahmed shaker on Fri, 25/10/2019 - 15:39

I have completed the lessons regarding difference between Mars and Earth so, I think it is impossible for human to live on Mars planet due to the extreme conditions for weather , Gravity and air and till now there no research center prove the probability to how can anybody live on Mars

Submitted by César Árraga on Tue, 08/10/2019 - 17:06

I consider that as scientific researchs continues to advance, the NASA will evaluate if there are possibilities of living on Mars. Also, according to the listening excercise, we can understand there're more extreme conditions on that planet than the Earth. For instance, the weather(tempeartures are highly variable), air composition(it's mostly carbon dioxide), gravity(it is about one sixth of the Earth), etc.

Submitted by Assel on Thu, 26/09/2019 - 01:21

Technological progress does not stand in one place. For the last 100 years scientists all over the world have made up colossal breakthrough in technology area. I believe that in one day travel to Mars will be as easy as getting to the neighbour country. According to the many years research, life in Mars is completely possible.

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