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)

Hello Leila77,

The audio just played for me, so I imagine that it was a temporary error. If you are still not able to play all of the audio, I'd suggest downloading it to see if that works better. If you're on a computer, you can right-click on the audio player and save it on your computer.

Hope this helps.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I have just downloaded the audio, and I can now listen to the entire discussion. Thanks for your help.

Submitted by SoNSKrill on Fri, 26/02/2021 - 14:29

In my opinion, we will reach a point that the humanity will need to colonize other planets to survive. Maybe that sound too far, but will happen.

Submitted by yerurias on Thu, 25/02/2021 - 21:45

I don't think so, i believe humans are just going to live here on earth, probably it is possible to go there, but not to live and make a place crowded of people how here on earth.

Submitted by Fabiola03 on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 23:54

with this listening y can learning more about mars very interesting.

Submitted by ArtemenkoArtem on Sun, 14/02/2021 - 17:01

It is no doubt, that one day people will be forced to colonize the Red planet. One day it won't be a dream which we want to fulfil. At least a necessity.

Submitted by Pola on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 14:24

I think in one day we might live in Mars due to technology progressing to build settlements on the Red planet, despite there's no chance similar Earth planet in the universe.

Submitted by zohal shuja on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 06:46

yes. In the future people would live on Mars however, its very cold but people would find the way to live there. nothing is impossible

Submitted by German on Wed, 10/02/2021 - 02:09

Yes, I will. I think that the people will live in another planet in the future. For this we are research in another planet and searching life to can live there.