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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Worksheet82.41 Ko

Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Soumis par Anasziz le jeu 30/09/2021 - 17:54


with an air of carbon dioxide and frozen water very complex wither no way we can even live for a second
there is no life for humans up in space

Soumis par Rolabaik le jeu 30/09/2021 - 14:29


No, I don't think that and I can't imagine if humans can live on other planets instead of the earth.

Soumis par Rolabaik le jeu 30/09/2021 - 10:50


No, I don't think that and I can't imagine if humans can live on other planets instead of the earth.

Soumis par krigss91350 le dim 12/09/2021 - 08:21

According to last researches, Mars lost his water which was blown off from its surface by Sun's winds. Mars doesn't have the magnetic field as Earth has. Early there was a magnetic field upon Mars but due to Mars is a small planet, his core got frozen and ceased producing magnetic field. Left without defence all water and air were blown off from surface. Now Mars's core is frozen. Mars has lost almost whole atmosphere and it's extremely cold there. I don't think that people can live there in nearest future but i suppose that after a while there will live not human but cyborgs.

Soumis par Emily Mellor le mar 17/08/2021 - 13:19

No, I don't think so. People can't live on Mars due to it's temperature and air. I think people can't stand minus 55 degrees and can't live without having oxygen. Besides, water in Mars is frozen. It is difficult either to grow plants or to survive animals and humans. Because of these reasons, Mars may be hostile environment for human beings. So, I suppose people can't live on Mars.
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Soumis par Kadir le sam 14/08/2021 - 20:10

In 21.century a lot of people, a lot of scientist are discussing about "where can we live another planet or solar system form the Earth." But none of us don't try to make the world more livable place. We still built more factories, buy more cars, built more huge buildings etc. Whereas day to day we cut more forest and we make dirty our environment, seas, lakes and rivers. Actually we're not doing anything to save the Earth.

Soumis par Elías Amitai le lun 09/08/2021 - 18:55

Yes I think so. Or at least I think we will be forced to attempt it in a near future. Since we humans are depleting all of our natural resources.

Soumis par KATIELLE RAIAN… le mar 27/07/2021 - 10:11

I don't think people should do that. Because life on Earth is difficult enough, imagine on another planet.

Soumis par mariadanielale… le dim 04/07/2021 - 20:23

Yes I do. People will live on Mars one day. There are many people researching about that. And I think some day they will find the way to live there without oxygen.
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Soumis par iEdd le jeu 01/07/2021 - 20:58

I reconk maybe people will live there. A few og humanity, as a kind of experiment, not for being a attepmt to survive because life's condiotion on Earth won't be good.

Soumis par GiulianaAndy le jeu 17/06/2021 - 18:12

Yes, I do. In my opinion people will live on Mars one day, because science is in an advanced level, and also astronomy is very development nowadays.
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Soumis par Khin Yee Mon Khaing le mer 16/06/2021 - 07:54

I don't think because we all human needs oxygen to live.Mars has no oxygen whereas it has water.

Soumis par Pann Nilar Htun le mer 16/06/2021 - 06:00

I don't think people can live in Mars. Because there is too cold and 1/3 smaller than Earth. But it can be changed by time to time. I interested to visit to the Mars, red planet.

Soumis par fontan le dim 02/05/2021 - 23:57

Maybe we will maybe we won't, We need time to discover something to move Mars or another planet. I believe there are lots of things to discover in the Earth for example oceans and seas. My be we'll discover something and it works in a new technology. And maybe this technology will help us about air issue. Maybe We have to learn how to beautify our environment and live respectful with ourselves and the other living things.

Soumis par Mai Khin Nway Shein le sam 24/04/2021 - 15:59

I don't think people will live on Mars cause God created us on the earth, not on Mars. You can only live where God allows. No matter how good technologies and science, you can not do it without God's permission.

Soumis par Suraj paliwal le jeu 15/04/2021 - 04:15

May be, but not so easy, Human needs air. Human lives is where have the air. Air is most important thing to live in other planets. But we should plant trees, to save the Earth. Earth is most beautiful place than others.

Soumis par Paula Bermúdez… le mer 14/04/2021 - 02:41

I consider it is a real possibility. Nowadays there is a lot of technology and that has permitted humans discovered different things about space and other planets, so in some years, maybe, we can live on other planets.

Soumis par MelizaDi le jeu 08/04/2021 - 01:52

Yes, this is the reason why they study that planet. This world is dying and they need options to get out of here before we humans become extinct (although it would be best).

Soumis par AYLIN SC le mer 07/04/2021 - 04:04

One day maybe if a catastrophic event doesn't happen before, but really i think we have more opportunities in this planet almost for most people.

Soumis par jeison0894 le lun 05/04/2021 - 14:58

In reality, many organizations and groups interested in making it possible for humans to colonize Mars are working hard on that and making great strides, especially Elon Musk's space company SpaceX, who said he hopes to get the first humans there by 2024. Perhaps this is something we will see sooner than we imagine.

Soumis par Morrow le lun 05/04/2021 - 09:16

I think if there is no place in the earth, we must make Mars be livable planet then.

Soumis par ANOUAR le jeu 01/04/2021 - 14:08

Yes, they will discover Mars and they will live in it if it's possible, just like in the past when we dreamed of reaching the moon and now this dream becomes a reality...

Soumis par Frank Cuello le mer 24/03/2021 - 20:56

Considering the facts that the students discuss in the audio, I think it is barely possible that we can live on Mars.

Soumis par karapetanya le mer 24/03/2021 - 17:32

I think people will live on Mars one day,because we already have this idea.Also scientists are investigating this planet for life. Ofcourse we can think about moving to another planet,but it's more important to take care about our Earth.It is incredible.I am sorry for my mistakes,please correct me if you want

Soumis par Jos2021 le sam 20/03/2021 - 21:53

Yeah. As Soon as humans find out about some resources in Mars

Soumis par Kay le mar 16/03/2021 - 22:19

Maybe someday, that will happen, as technology advance. Who could have thought that man will visit the moon some centuries past? My point is human has the innate capacity to think and bring forth witty inventions of which advancement that could aid human lives in Mars could be possible.

Soumis par In le dim 14/03/2021 - 07:52

Well, maybe someday. But if we take care of the Earth first sounds better to me. I mean, if we are going to destroy Mars as well, it doesn`t make sense to go to live there.
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Soumis par Enas Almzoghi le mer 10/03/2021 - 16:36

No, I don`t think so. I think if we can live on Mars, we can find life there.

Soumis par Ari le lun 08/03/2021 - 19:32

Well, maybe one day people will be able to live on Mars. But I just can't figure out why people do such terrible things? We have a wonderful, unique and living planet. And why is humanity killing such a valuable gift as Earth, and at the same time trying to revive a dead planet? Do they think life on Mars will be better or more convenient? I don't think so. Perhaps one day people will live on the Red Planet, but I think that our children don't deserve such a life.

Soumis par Leila77 le mar 02/03/2021 - 09:34

I found a problem with the audio; it stopped at 1mn 41.

Hello Leila77,

The audio just played for me, so I imagine that it was a temporary error. If you are still not able to play all of the audio, I'd suggest downloading it to see if that works better. If you're on a computer, you can right-click on the audio player and save it on your computer.

Hope this helps.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I have just downloaded the audio, and I can now listen to the entire discussion. Thanks for your help.

Soumis par SoNSKrill le ven 26/02/2021 - 14:29

In my opinion, we will reach a point that the humanity will need to colonize other planets to survive. Maybe that sound too far, but will happen.

Soumis par yerurias le jeu 25/02/2021 - 21:45

I don't think so, i believe humans are just going to live here on earth, probably it is possible to go there, but not to live and make a place crowded of people how here on earth.

Soumis par Cesar Silva Gajardo le mar 23/02/2021 - 15:46

Yes, i think we will do. There is a possibility that a suitable technology may be tested and developed. It's a matter of time to happen.

Soumis par Fabiola03 le mer 17/02/2021 - 23:54

with this listening y can learning more about mars very interesting.

Soumis par ArtemenkoArtem le dim 14/02/2021 - 17:01

It is no doubt, that one day people will be forced to colonize the Red planet. One day it won't be a dream which we want to fulfil. At least a necessity.

Soumis par Pola le jeu 11/02/2021 - 14:24

I think in one day we might live in Mars due to technology progressing to build settlements on the Red planet, despite there's no chance similar Earth planet in the universe.

Soumis par zohal shuja le jeu 11/02/2021 - 06:46

yes. In the future people would live on Mars however, its very cold but people would find the way to live there. nothing is impossible

Soumis par German le mer 10/02/2021 - 02:09

Yes, I will. I think that the people will live in another planet in the future. For this we are research in another planet and searching life to can live there.

Soumis par Alessandro893 le mer 03/02/2021 - 00:37

Maybe in 15 years It could be possible with the new Technology.

Soumis par Abrarhussain le mar 02/02/2021 - 00:06

The latest technology and science research and experiments maybe able to fulfil this dream This maybe possible, hopefully in the future.

Soumis par safirapw le dim 31/01/2021 - 13:23

i'm not so sure, consider about the weather on mars, not all people can live in cold place

Soumis par MattMontana le mer 27/01/2021 - 15:32

Yes, for sure. The thing is that people are going to live on mars but as Robots or Androids. The way we are walking is taking us there.

Soumis par Vancanucks27 le mar 26/01/2021 - 02:34

Base on Study Tress can grow to mars,just have to compress the atmosphere into a greenhouse and plant them in soil that has been filtered of Mars' perchlorate salt that's toxic to higher life. a) The ground isn't suitable for plants. There aren't enough minerals and there is no water. And if there is liquid water, it's extremely salty.

Soumis par Htet Su Naing le lun 25/01/2021 - 16:05

I have no idea. It's probably one day. How can I guess what will happen in he future?

Soumis par Bodo kh le dim 24/01/2021 - 22:42

I don't think so . We still ignore many facts about the space .Maybe it will happen in the next centuries .

Soumis par Aroooma le dim 24/01/2021 - 01:09

Maybe..we are in the new generation and we see every thing around us are changes and develops.I Think anything that we see impossible become reality in one day .
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Soumis par Behnoush1989 le mer 20/01/2021 - 18:32

I think it depends on the developing knowlede and technology. In fact, if human could extend his astronomical knowledge in order to reach so high level of technology, it is possible to live in Mars. Otherwise, it will be just a dream.