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
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Submitted by saadabdulkader on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 20:13

For the first time i knew that the Earth is bigger than Mars

Submitted by CRIS2102 on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 04:36

I don't belive humans can live in other planet different to Earth.

Submitted by Tomofumi on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 11:04

I think there are a lot of imcredible resources in Mars. It is definitely helpful for us to find them. Recently, some people have found the ways which get easy accesses to space. I'm really interested in the development of rockets.
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Submitted by rerre on Wed, 29/04/2020 - 17:31

It is a good unit to practice comparison. I conclude I should review this grammar point. There are interesting sentences to learn how you have to say in English language ideas of proportion like "It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth". For me, sometimes the structure with as...as is a trick :/

Submitted by Naw Ring on Wed, 29/04/2020 - 04:53

I don't think that we can survial in Mars with such a little water.

Submitted by Aye Nyine San on Tue, 28/04/2020 - 08:00

How can i put the characteristics in the correct group .i mean what keys should i use to drag those characteristcs

Hello Aye Nyine San

When you want to add another sentence to a group, you have to click or press on the small white hand at the side of the words already in the box. If you don't do this, then the new words will stay but the old words will disappear from the box.

It's a little difficult to explain, so please let me know if you'd like me to explain it again.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Masas on Mon, 27/04/2020 - 23:11

We can live there , but I'm not thinking about this time we need a lot of studies on oxygen on Mars as well as on water I think if these development countries are beginning to think about this goal and they support studies, perhaps after 100 years, we can live on Mars  

Submitted by Maddalena on Sat, 25/04/2020 - 19:42

No, I don't. Maybe one day we would be able to go on Mars and we'd discover life, but I'm sure that if life exist on Mars this would be very different from life on Earth.

Submitted by Tolani on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 23:49

I don't think it will be possible to live in Mars.

Submitted by Dorian Recio on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 12:33

I think that is a good listening because it is easy and you learn new things from Mars. An example would be that Mars is further from the Sun than Earth and that it has lees gravity.

Submitted by Pol Martin on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 11:33

It is good listening because everything is understood well, and can be done easily.

Submitted by ademyonet on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 08:29

Yeah! People will live a day on Mars in the future. Because there is life on Mars. They sometimes come on the Earth ve we see them but we say that we saw UFO this night. Also NASA found some life signs. Even people will build city on Mars in the future. SpaceX, Elon Mask started to study before a long time. I wait that we will go to Mars ve trip of Mars.

Submitted by Carole Anh on Thu, 23/04/2020 - 14:27

If Mars has all the elements for mankind to live, why not :-)

Submitted by khosro on Thu, 23/04/2020 - 11:24

Hi everybody. I think we will be able to live in mars in future, but not now. But it is more important to learn better living in our planet,earth. We most learn living in peace. Not polluting the environment , help each other to have a better life. If we wouldn’t learn, we would destroy the Mars too.
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Submitted by JuanManuelLopezGil on Tue, 21/04/2020 - 00:09

Of course, because this planet is not eternal.

Submitted by SANDRA YINNET on Mon, 20/04/2020 - 02:08

I think that this a possibility in the future if we don't become aware and responsability with our planet, the NASA have was studing this possibility during years looking one alternattive for the future, but the conditions of this planet don't are the better for us. I think that the best is take care our planet for next generations.
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Submitted by gstavale on Thu, 16/04/2020 - 23:37

I am not sure. In my opinion, the humanity is a long way from it. I think that much more studies will be necessary to stay close to that and many more money will be spent to support the studies. Will the developmental countries give priority to these investments?

Submitted by rocio_botelloo on Thu, 16/04/2020 - 18:12

Well, I do not remove the possibility that in a given future we can live on Mars, but right now or in a few years, due to the conditions that are said in the listening I see it as impossible. But you never know what technology can do so that we can live many more years, but even if they are similar planets, I see little possibility. But also, our planet is already annoying enough to destroy another like Mars, that is, humans without realizing it, we are destroying our own planet. So I think that even if we could go, we shouldn't live on a planet like Mars.We are decently on our planet and I hope that in a few years we can continue to be.

Submitted by jesus on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 22:19

Hi Guys; I do not know where ours future generations will live but the true is we are destroying our planet. If the scientist are looking for a new planet to live ,the final is closest. I suggest that if life is possible in Mars, humans beens should not go there to spoil it like the Earth.

Submitted by raulesteban on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 10:52

I think that this is a good listening because it´s easy to understand and you can learn a lot of things whith it. For exmple today I learn thet in Mars there was less gravity and so many years ago there were some oceans in there, thats amazing!
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Mon, 13/04/2020 - 15:34

Yes, i does. As most people think Mars can support human life.

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

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