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 (260 votes)

Submitted by HAMEDFAYAD on Mon, 26/12/2022 - 20:57


No, I do not Think because i can not Imagine if someone can leave the earth forever, It's hard to leave your country for working or tourist or business, what about leaving earth forever.

Submitted by iambored on Fri, 23/12/2022 - 20:41


I think humans will be able to live on Mars sooner or later. However, the life on Mars can never be as good as the life on Earth because Earth has a more livable and human-supporting environment than Mars.

Submitted by Paulina Grollmus on Sat, 03/12/2022 - 23:24


Good excerscise

Submitted by EhabElseify on Fri, 02/12/2022 - 14:20


we are not meant to live on Mars, Earth is completely qualified to live on it rather than any other planet, atmosphere, water, gravity, and a lot of factors that contribute to suitable life for human beings on Earth.

Submitted by stevenpetriz19 on Fri, 02/12/2022 - 03:38


I think in the past human life was possible on Mars, not now cause universe´s cycles don´t allow but in the next years humans can start the first mars civilization and maybe in the future it would be possible take trips to there!!

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Submitted by doctormustafa42 on Wed, 30/11/2022 - 07:58


Yes, I believe. Firstly, Humans always do their objectives if they have enthusiasm, so I believe it. But that won't be usual like in World. Because We must admit that The World is more liveable than Mars. We will build different live areas which are suitable for Mars's condition.

Submitted by Aome on Tue, 29/11/2022 - 16:58


I think in the future people will be able to live in the Mars. And i believe I can see it.

Submitted by Vitaliy_G on Mon, 28/11/2022 - 10:21


I think that people will be on Mars with scientific expedition and not for life.

Submitted by Eman Samir on Fri, 25/11/2022 - 18:01


Although there are similarities between Earth and Mars and it can support human life but I think there will be no life on Mars one day for reasons like being much colder than Earth.Most of its water may be frozen now. It doesn't have air compared to Earth which is the very main component for living there.One last thing is the gravity which is much less than Earth.

Submitted by YuliaMelenchuk on Wed, 23/11/2022 - 10:27


I strongly belive YES. It become more and more possible these days. I do not know where, but I think one day my grandchildren will go to the Mars