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 Miho Watanabe on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 16:43

I think people will live on Mars, but it is not near future. Of course, there are a lot of people on Earth now, but the population of some country such japan is decreasing now. So, people should not live on Mars yet.

Submitted by Nagato on Thu, 21/05/2020 - 11:43

I think that the life in mars is impossible even we use a special clothes for protection also no matter how science progresses, we cannot challenge nature
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Submitted by Vinh on Wed, 20/05/2020 - 16:08

Ithink people no longer will life on the mars

Submitted by IBRAHIM HAMID on Mon, 18/05/2020 - 15:37

Fristly thank you for a valuable information, and I think so with the massive progress of the space research and different technologies, but of course doesn't like to people lives on earth.

Submitted by senes19 on Mon, 18/05/2020 - 12:09

I have an idea about that. Probably human who is boring with this planet, will leave from Earth. Because there is unfair sharing, bad behaviors in this world. Maybe another planet will solve humans problems. It will create a new world. I think it has to able to support adequately our life. Holy books may show us a way to explore.
I totally agree, I hope new research and technology one day allows us to travel and live on Mars! We are so fed up with planet earth.

Submitted by Chipinque on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 17:54

Probably if people creates elementary infrastructure to live there, I think life will be pretty rubbish and boring at first, and how expensive to live there would that be?

Submitted by vaniafed on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 13:33

I think so, but according to people's priorities, it won't happen very soon. Because people like making troubles and doing things which won't do any help to humanity itself.
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Submitted by AlejoPB on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 17:16

I think that could be possible, the humans every day are looking for new technological advances and ways to create an artificial environment, for this, I believe that possibly shortly to live in mars, however in not good and comfortable conditions.

Submitted by Olumy20 on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 19:15

Possibly but not without challenges, it will take alot of conditioning for human to survive in Mars. But never say never

Submitted by Albert Marambio on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 02:52

I was thinking to get to mars, but it will take a long time that happens,as I do not beleive people get to the moon,so ,in my opinion isn't easy...

Submitted by Ben2008 on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 02:50

I don't think people will live one day on March because the climate on that planet is very likely to remain as it is i.e. lacking oxygen. Human beings can't just live in an atmosphere which lacks oxygen.

Submitted by Rehaf on Tue, 12/05/2020 - 00:16

they can but not like how we live here i think it well be a lots of condition to make that be

Submitted by Bhre Satriavi on Sun, 10/05/2020 - 17:18

i would rather save out earth than move to new planet like mars. what we should do is plant more trees and reduce a development infrastructure in several place because there are a place should be used as lungs of the world like amazon forest and Kalimantan island with it's tropical forest.

Submitted by mgalezzo on Fri, 08/05/2020 - 02:12

I think, that people can live on Mars one day if they have special clothes to protect them of cold. Beside they should use mask with oxygen and nitrogen.

Submitted by AMOUGOU Abega … on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 04:41

Is quite difficult nowdays, because if mars is as colder as antarctic it'll very tricky to live there. Nowdays scientists can't change climate conditions in the antarctic, but if with futher researches they finally change climat condition and allow people to live there, i think the same changement could be done on march

Submitted by Santiago22 on Mon, 04/05/2020 - 19:11

Hello everybody, i think Mars is a possibility planet for life, but we don't know how to live here, in the Earth, so we need first know how to live here, in peace with the nature and obviously with other persons, then we can think in live in other planet, maybe in the future we will, but for now we need know the peace.

Submitted by lualopezbe on Sun, 03/05/2020 - 01:49

For me is possible, several cientificts is working in tecnologies that allow us live in Mars one day, on the other hand, nowdays the tecnology is growing exponentially.
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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.