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 misty on Sat, 08/01/2022 - 18:01


I think with the advancement of our technologies, there is a big possibility that one day people can live in Mars. Furthermore, with the inventions, astronauts are being sent out in the universe to research on planets if there is possibility of human life out in the space.

Submitted by PeterG on Tue, 04/01/2022 - 22:06


Nowadays humans have a lot of advanced technologies so it is probable that in the future we will be able to live in space or we will visit Mars. However, in my opinion, it will be a very expensive journey, and probably it won´t be able for all people, just for some. I hope humans won´t pollute the planet that they will visit as they do with the Earth.

Submitted by ANOUAR on Tue, 28/12/2021 - 12:19


Without water and fresh air, I think we will send robots to live there instead of us, and we can share informations about the different kind of life here and there.

In fact, we have already done that. Nasa has sent many robots to explore and do research on mars, and Elon Musk has a theory that you could colonize mars and make it a new home for humans. This could be a great solution if global warming escalates much further.

Submitted by Shweyee on Tue, 21/12/2021 - 03:22


I don't think so. There is no water, no fresh air and threes can't grow in Mars. But the scientists research this planet and found somethings that can support human life , may be one day people live in Mars with suitable technology.

Submitted by jmajo on Thu, 16/12/2021 - 15:32


I do think in a nearest future people will colonize and live in other planets apart than Earth but I don't think we would be able to see it in this life, but maybe we should focus on taking care the planet we actually live in rather than spent loads valuable resources trying to adapt our life to other planets.

Thanks for the lesson.
Great site!

Hello! Well, i do think that the Earth is the only planet created for support the human life. I said that the bible says about that, our God created this planet called Earth to reproduse life.

Submitted by Nafisa on Sun, 12/12/2021 - 19:24


I guess, that due developping new technologies day by days, once upon a time people can at least partially live on Mars. We have minimum chance, but we have. So we can do our best for this discovery with little step. I believe that one day with the huge cooperation of best scientists, inventors, investors and world's authorities people could settle down on Mars.

Submitted by Helene Jomouton on Thu, 09/12/2021 - 15:14


It’s difficult to say . It depends on the new expeditions and the nieuw studies on the possibility of the life on Mars.