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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Submitted by Eash on Sun, 07/07/2024 - 17:54


how to download the audio clip

Hello Eash,

If you right-click on the play icon (the triangle) you should be given the option to download the audio file.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by ubaid332 on Wed, 29/05/2024 - 08:56


Do you think people will live on Mars one day?

I think not because there is no oxygen on Mars and also the cold is very high which is not suitable for people to live there. The earth has many facilities for human life like water, oxygen, and proper seasons which are important factors for human life.

Submitted by mai.gamal.elshamy on Thu, 16/05/2024 - 12:26


I don't think so, because our God created us in a place and environment that is suitable for us.

Submitted by Khant Zay Thu on Wed, 24/04/2024 - 09:16


I'm not sure about that.I think shifting the whole community from their original birthplace(mother land the earth)to the new one(mars) can have much challenges though.Like dividing the country boundary etc.Furthermore as mentioned in this talk mars is less favourable to human lives than earth.So mars will be modified a lot in order to give a chance of human survival,making the research and experiments continuously. 

Submitted by JFrantzJ on Thu, 21/03/2024 - 03:16


The Earth is the best for human to live because all conditions that match with our nature are completed here. In the future if a spectacular changement do all conditions of human live are favorable on Mars, You don't know maybe a human can switch from Earth to Mars.

Submitted by elesca on Mon, 11/03/2024 - 17:02


I don't think that human life on Mars could be possible in the future, not the way we think on Eart. 

Earth is our planet, the only perfect made to support life. That's it! 

Science could always study, search informations and do a lot of experiments to learn something else about universe's history and future. 

If we change our way to think and l live, we don't need to look for another planet

Submitted by Winnie0900 on Wed, 28/02/2024 - 18:45


I don't think so. Earth and Mars can have some similarities but I consider the differences to be strong enough to not allow human life on Mars. For example, with those temperatures too low, people could die of hypothermia. 

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Submitted by Klutuk on Fri, 23/02/2024 - 13:42


I have a thought that the people on Earth will never have a life on Mars due to the elements on Earth are definitely different with Mars's elements. Like the water, the air, and the temperature. Nowadays, The Earth is the best planet to support the human life. However, in the future we don't know what will happens. If the Earth has damaged the human have to find the solutions how to solve that problem and they will try to do a research on Mars and use the newest technology to support it to appear the spring water, friendly environment, etc.