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)

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.