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 Ali Bagirov on Thu, 08/09/2022 - 13:44


If you ask me, to begin with, there isn`t life on Mars, but I believe that life will be available on Mars one day, at least scientists and researchers work in order to find life on Mars to reduce the density of Earth. I hope that one day This will take place.

Submitted by Nandar Su Hlaing on Thu, 08/09/2022 - 04:25


In my own opinion, normal people can visit them for a short trip like other places on earth. It will be difficult to live longer because Mars doesn't have enough air or water.

Submitted by farhadwahaj on Sat, 27/08/2022 - 15:51


In my point of view, human beings can't live on Mars, there are some reasons, such as insufficient oxygen and water which are virtual for human beings, the temperature is low it is about 50 degree Celsius and more gravity than on Earth.

Submitted by mylehuyen on Sat, 27/08/2022 - 11:26


Human are always cusrious and aspire to exprience new things in life. So with the advancement of technology, people will eventually find the way to live in the mars especially given the current state of overcrwoding.

Submitted by mamalirezaenglish on Mon, 08/08/2022 - 15:40


Many things became possible through time. Humans didn't expect that they could fly with a thing named airplane someday. If the situation of the earth become worse, humans will look for opportunities to live on earth.

Submitted by tariq80 on Sun, 07/08/2022 - 04:06


I don't think so at the moment but humans will be do it one day. if the life on earth doesn't finish sooner. 😅

Submitted by Sadaf98b on Thu, 21/07/2022 - 10:54


I think we can. Honestly, we have to do it in the future becuse the environmet of Earth is in danger.

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

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.

Submitted by Chris Evan on Sat, 02/04/2022 - 08:30


I think we should find another planets where human can live.Because the world was gradually destroyed by people.

Submitted by belal on Fri, 01/04/2022 - 14:36


Maybe one day, if the technology improves, to the level at which we will be able to use it to live there.

Submitted by Edward24 on Thu, 24/03/2022 - 00:39


i think , we can live in marth, but no in this moment, we dont have a good tecnology, to go for other planet.

Submitted by hhnhulk on Wed, 16/03/2022 - 16:26


I'm sure that People cannot live in Mars and never live there . Because:
- First, there's no water currently. People cannot live without water.
- Second, The temperature is about minus 55 degrees, it's so cold towards people. Maybe i's not true in the future with technology.
- Third, Mars don't have Air, especially Oxygen. It's indispensable for People
In the Future, it's probably need a lot of money and technology to Help People can live in Mars

Submitted by Laxsus on Thu, 10/03/2022 - 00:15


I think it would be impossible to live in other planet than earth, I know technology gets bigger and wider day by day but that doesn't mean they can create the sources of life that god have made, I could imagine people visiting Mars but not live on it obviously.

Submitted by Danny Posadas on Mon, 28/02/2022 - 18:14


Yes, I think technology has improve, so maybe one day someone will be there, because I think Mars has a similar conditions than Earth, however Mars hasn't enough water to survive, so it could be a problem.

Submitted by Ashar Ahmed on Mon, 21/02/2022 - 16:59


The lack of oxygen and water makes it impossible for humans to exist on Mars.

Submitted by sandar-s-d on Mon, 07/02/2022 - 04:26


In my opinion,I don't think people will live in Mars because there is no water and enough air so we need to prepare a lot to live for life long.Maybe we can visit to Mars and wander in it

Submitted by KATIELLE RAIAN… on Wed, 19/01/2022 - 17:25


Well, in my opinion, in a few days the earth will be uninhabitable. So we humans will have to look for another planet to live on. Who knows, will it be Mars?

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Submitted by danisep on Sat, 15/01/2022 - 14:23


Yes, In the future humankind gonna adapt mars to their necessities, I don't think that life on other planets gonna be like on earth maybe they gonna use colonies and a dome to keep humans under certain conditions and I think that gonna be like a tourist destination.

Submitted by misty on Sat, 08/01/2022 - 18:01


I think with the advancement of our technologies, there is a big possibility that one day people can live in Mars. Furthermore, with the inventions, astronauts are being sent out in the universe to research on planets if there is possibility of human life out in the space.

Submitted by PeterG on Tue, 04/01/2022 - 22:06


Nowadays humans have a lot of advanced technologies so it is probable that in the future we will be able to live in space or we will visit Mars. However, in my opinion, it will be a very expensive journey, and probably it won´t be able for all people, just for some. I hope humans won´t pollute the planet that they will visit as they do with the Earth.

Submitted by ANOUAR on Tue, 28/12/2021 - 12:19


Without water and fresh air, I think we will send robots to live there instead of us, and we can share informations about the different kind of life here and there.

In fact, we have already done that. Nasa has sent many robots to explore and do research on mars, and Elon Musk has a theory that you could colonize mars and make it a new home for humans. This could be a great solution if global warming escalates much further.

Submitted by Shweyee on Tue, 21/12/2021 - 03:22


I don't think so. There is no water, no fresh air and threes can't grow in Mars. But the scientists research this planet and found somethings that can support human life , may be one day people live in Mars with suitable technology.

Submitted by jmajo on Thu, 16/12/2021 - 15:32


I do think in a nearest future people will colonize and live in other planets apart than Earth but I don't think we would be able to see it in this life, but maybe we should focus on taking care the planet we actually live in rather than spent loads valuable resources trying to adapt our life to other planets.

Thanks for the lesson.
Great site!

Hello! Well, i do think that the Earth is the only planet created for support the human life. I said that the bible says about that, our God created this planet called Earth to reproduse life.

Submitted by Nafisa on Sun, 12/12/2021 - 19:24


I guess, that due developping new technologies day by days, once upon a time people can at least partially live on Mars. We have minimum chance, but we have. So we can do our best for this discovery with little step. I believe that one day with the huge cooperation of best scientists, inventors, investors and world's authorities people could settle down on Mars.

Submitted by Helene Jomouton on Thu, 09/12/2021 - 15:14


It’s difficult to say . It depends on the new expeditions and the nieuw studies on the possibility of the life on Mars.

Submitted by azharbgskr on Sun, 28/11/2021 - 15:49


Yes, I do. Science and technology keep developing until now, and I can't imagine how advanced they are in the future. So, I believe that someday humans can build civilization on Mars.

Submitted by Mostafa Abdelrafea on Sun, 28/11/2021 - 02:58


Maybe, but I think it's not possible, as it takes too much time to reach there even more than a person's age.

Submitted by vuhoap on Sun, 14/11/2021 - 13:06


Yes, I think people will live on Mars one day. Because, Elon Musk is CEO at SpaceX said that Mars is one of Earth's closest habitable neighbors. Mars is about half again as far from the Sun as Earth is, so it still has decent sunlight. It is a little cold, but we can warm it up. Its atmosphere is primarily CO2 with some nitrogen and argon and a few other trace elements, which means that we can grow plants on Mars just by compressing the atmosphere. Furthermore, the day is remarkably close to that of Earth.

Submitted by vienngoc2502 on Sun, 07/11/2021 - 02:46


So, as far as I know, the main similarities between Earth and Mars is that they can both support human life. Though Mars is colder than Earh. Its temperature is minus 55 degrees, cause it places further the Sun than Earth. Otherwise, there is less air on this planet and the water was frozen in the past. It's not at all, one more other difference between them is gravity. Mars gravity is much less than on Earth. It says Mars has about 38 percent of earth's gravity. Despite all of these things, I think people will live on Mars due to population explosion and environmental pollution.

Submitted by danielbacelar on Tue, 26/10/2021 - 21:01


It's possible... Our existence is tiny close to the size of the universe