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 (245 votes)

Submitted by Mm1111 on Wed, 01/06/2022 - 11:03


It depends, I think that on the future the people will be able to live in Mars because the technology is more avance, but the condition of Mars is complicate for the life because Mars doesn´t have water.

Submitted by AHMED-star on Sat, 28/05/2022 - 08:55


in my opinion i think people can not able to lives on mars ever coz if that possible god would not selected to us the earth

Submitted by Steevzs96 on Tue, 24/05/2022 - 21:28


I think it will be possible on a future. Currently exist companies that are planning travels to others planets and In my opinion I believe that companies are thinking how can introduce air for the people who expect go to live there.

Submitted by MOSAB ABAKAR T… on Sat, 21/05/2022 - 17:44


in my opinion, I do not deem mar is suitable for human life because has many demerits, and there are disparities in human genes that totally different. according to our scientists and astronomers see live is possible regardless of many deprivations and livelihoods in mars

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Submitted by Magedelabd on Thu, 05/05/2022 - 17:17


I believe the -55 degree is to cold to have a human in the plant Mars. can anybody tell us about the minimum temperature degree can the human manage . also i think the the reason that Mars has such degree because it is far from the sun by 225 million km .

Submitted by Moses Habarugira on Mon, 02/05/2022 - 16:02


Much appreciated to British council.
I'm trying to help myself with these materials to improve my English.

Submitted by thomasBonavicina on Thu, 21/04/2022 - 14:20


I don’t know that, it’s difficult to imagine the future on mars planet, but I think that with the humans evolution and with the most frequently changing on heart, humans will be obligated to found another place for living theyr life, and mars is probabily one of the most ospitality planet that there are on our galaxy

Submitted by Patypereira on Tue, 12/04/2022 - 11:48


Well... everything is possible. Although all the researches are more focused on finding life or proving that we can live on Mars, I strongly believe aliens will invade us and maybe show us more options in this massive universe. Maybe a warmer planet than Mars.

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 12/04/2022 - 09:28


yes of course, human is progressing in all field of science. he produce new tools. he use new tools and experience of humans before him. beside, I think humans is genetically progressing. he has communication with other people by the internet. Summary, the things are impossible for us, will be done by future generations.