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: 4.2 (17 votes)

Submitted by Youssef Karfouh on Sun, 03/07/2022 - 16:53


No ,I think we can't, because if that possible Allah (God) wouldn't created us on earth

in my opinion we know very little knowledge about planets. in future maybe after 1000 years people will know completely different knowledge and they will learn how to live on mars and the other planets.

Submitted by Alejolondono on Sat, 02/07/2022 - 02:42


I had never heard some differences that they commented, was pretty interesting heard that

Submitted by khalid muhammed on Tue, 28/06/2022 - 10:34


I think with minus 55 degrees it is so hard to maintain life there, because our bodies are not capable of withstanding this low temperature, but also I believe of capabilities of humans, we can solve this problem, for millions of years we found a solution for the trillions of problems so coldness can not stop us.

Submitted by infahem on Sun, 19/06/2022 - 20:38


people can everything as far as god's (Allah) let. Our mission is hardworking loking for solution to solve our problem. even if we have not succesfull result we can get experience for another try

Submitted by Jeedapa on Sat, 11/06/2022 - 18:07


In my point of view, it seems impossible because Mars doesn't have water and the weather is much colder than Earth. Therefore, it is hard for humans to live there. However, it might be possible but depends on future advanced technologies. Maybe one day scientists may find some way to live on Mars or other planets.

Submitted by nguyenminhhoang on Wed, 08/06/2022 - 11:09


I suppose that human will live on Mars in the future because nowadays science and technology are developing rapidly but the environment in Earth is being destroyed seriously. So, in my opinion, people will use technological achievements in the future to adapt to the conditions in Mars.

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