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 Felipe1208 on Fri, 19/05/2023 - 02:02


Yes, I do. I believe that people could live on Mars someday, and needless to say, it won't happen overnight, but one thing we can be sure of is that the sciences will be on the rise, and humans will always find a way to overcome problems or obstacles that hinder their objectives.

Submitted by kyawtkyawtkhaing on Mon, 08/05/2023 - 18:26


I think later, human is possible to live on Mars coz science is developing day by day. But, I think scientists really need to research for water and air and gravity to balance.

Submitted by Hiba ana on Sun, 07/05/2023 - 10:48


i dont know but i think yes the world improving every day.

Submitted by cloud88 on Sat, 06/05/2023 - 09:52


I believe that
allah chose the earth to live on it because he know that

Submitted by Valya20 on Thu, 04/05/2023 - 17:17


I don't think so, but maybe, one day.

Submitted by BusBus93 on Wed, 03/05/2023 - 15:26


I'm not sure about that, but according to some research, some scientists believe that there might have been life on Mars a long time ago.

Submitted by alooy_shehabi on Mon, 24/04/2023 - 13:06


This is not excluded, as science is constantly advancing, and man may one day be able to find a way to live on Mars.

Submitted by newbie2023 on Fri, 14/04/2023 - 02:54


when it comes to the problem of living in mars, I don't think that we will be able to have a normal life there for the air is lack of oxygen which we need to breath; moreover, you know all water is frozen so people find extremely hard to stay in Mars without support equipment.

Submitted by Bede on Thu, 13/04/2023 - 19:19


No, I don't. People couldn't live on Mars, as it has not air like earth and upon by lots of carbon dioxide on its surface.

Submitted by I.es91 on Thu, 06/04/2023 - 22:09


I think this is impossible based on the above copmparation Mars is not suitable for human living for several reasons such as; weather, water, length of the day and i guess that's enough.