A student discussion

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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Average: 4.3 (259 votes)

Submitted by Daudau0601 on Sat, 11/04/2020 - 15:57

I think this ex is so difficult for me :(( I don't hear important information and i have to listen to it many times. And i think people maybe live on Mars in the future because science is more and more developed, people will invent many equipment to live on Mars

Hello Daudau0601

I'd suggest you try a few other pages at the B1 level. If they are not as difficult, it could be that just this page is slightly more difficult than others. If they are equally difficult, then you might want to try Listening pages at the A2 level for awhile before coming back to B1.

Good luck!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by R.Gómez on Thu, 09/04/2020 - 21:46

Maybe, but it isn´t possible at present. In the future, the science could develop the technology for it. Until then, we can only dream with that day.

Submitted by tiaf1388 on Mon, 06/04/2020 - 17:09

In my opinion, why do we make our lives more difficult by going to another planet? we have a good life here on Earth.
I don't agree with you. Because we have a lot of trouble in earth. The big one of them, coronaviruse now. I think Mars is more comfortable for life.

Submitted by renad21 on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 20:37

I don’t think one day we can live on mars,i mean okay there’s a huge similarities between mars and earth but the basic things such as water and gravity don’t match our nature so I think it’s impossible.

Submitted by Cotufa84 on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 12:24

I think that will be possible in further future. Our technology is not enough to colonize any planet. Mars isn't a good planet for humans, its live conditions aren't not adequate for human live such as we know. If we want to reproduce human live we will find some planet similar to earth. It has to able to support adequately our life.

Submitted by Farid.Kayed on Sun, 29/03/2020 - 17:33

in my opinion human should travel to an other planet to live there because the amount of disasters on the earth made by human make the earth Uninhabitable.

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