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 (244 votes)

Submitted by Phyo Sandar on Mon, 12/06/2023 - 15:18


Probably not, both have totally different conditions for human being. But in later, it may be because the science is developing day by day.

Submitted by kbshaik on Sun, 11/06/2023 - 15:44


completed successfully

Submitted by Guilhermehhsja… on Fri, 09/06/2023 - 16:16


No. Recently Mars was considered a inhabitable planet for human life. There are some ideas to make Mars a planet like Earth, with good air and water, but this isn't possible in a short period of time. So, I guess humans can't work with each to do this.

Submitted by maya85000 on Tue, 06/06/2023 - 09:04


not in a near future, but I think one day we will be able to do it. We don't have the technology yet to sustain human life (gavity, oxygen and water) but we can send robots able to navigate on mars surface, take samples and analyse the data for future research.
I wish engineers would put their effort on saving planet earth. We were made for leave on it. We should treasure instead of looking for planet B

Submitted by ghzamar on Tue, 30/05/2023 - 22:33


That is possible because we have the technology and it is going to develop but in my opinion isn't necessary. We have the best and grateful planet here. We should be care and safe it!

Submitted by Ahmed Elmubarak on Sun, 21/05/2023 - 04:19


Mmm, I don't think so, cuz of gravity, air and availability of water which all of them are vitals for human existence.
Even if the science find out more knowledge, there's a question,why human let the Earth with all facilities to a place with more obstacles?.

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.