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 …


Worksheet82.41 KB

Language level

Average: 4.3 (222 votes)

Submitted by kitalphar on Wed, 13/09/2023 - 16:34


No, I don't think that :'D

Profile picture for user imlix08

Submitted by imlix08 on Tue, 12/09/2023 - 05:43


I think people will not live on Mars even if It's one day only because there is no oyxgen which people needs in order survive. Though it has a water but it is colder than the earth so the water is freezing and people can't use it.

Submitted by Iagolopes on Wed, 06/09/2023 - 18:12


I think it would be wonderful one day, but if it were I, I would look for a planet with water and others similarities that permits the existence of life than a planet with no life.

Submitted by abeerzs on Wed, 30/08/2023 - 10:21


the livining things needs water, sun, air, to live
and those things aren't available on Mars. so, No I don't think so .

Submitted by marcialopes on Fri, 25/08/2023 - 17:02


I'm torn on this question and have mixed feelings. While the reasons given in the audio make it seem impossible to live on Mars, I can't deny the incredible advancements in technology and science. Personally, I don't believe it's possible, but anything is possible with the rapid progress being made.

Submitted by Hien Tien on Tue, 15/08/2023 - 08:00


I think that in the future human can make Mars into a good place to live.

Submitted by Roi Nan on Sun, 13/08/2023 - 12:20


In my point of view, it cannot be possible for human to live on Mar. The reason is that there is no oxygen or air which is essential for human and all the water from there are frozen. For those reason, it may impossible for human to live on Mar.

for now it appears to be not practical, but I guess in the future, as technology is evolving rapidly and humans are getting better apparatus to slave the environment, it may be possible to have synthetical oxygen and water