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 KATIELLE RAIAN… on Wed, 19/01/2022 - 17:25


Well, in my opinion, in a few days the earth will be uninhabitable. So we humans will have to look for another planet to live on. Who knows, will it be Mars?

Submitted by danisep on Sat, 15/01/2022 - 14:23


Yes, In the future humankind gonna adapt mars to their necessities, I don't think that life on other planets gonna be like on earth maybe they gonna use colonies and a dome to keep humans under certain conditions and I think that gonna be like a tourist destination.

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.

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.

Submitted by azharbgskr on Sun, 28/11/2021 - 15:49


Yes, I do. Science and technology keep developing until now, and I can't imagine how advanced they are in the future. So, I believe that someday humans can build civilization on Mars.

Submitted by Mostafa Abdelrafea on Sun, 28/11/2021 - 02:58


Maybe, but I think it's not possible, as it takes too much time to reach there even more than a person's age.

Submitted by vuhoap on Sun, 14/11/2021 - 13:06


Yes, I think people will live on Mars one day. Because, Elon Musk is CEO at SpaceX said that Mars is one of Earth's closest habitable neighbors. Mars is about half again as far from the Sun as Earth is, so it still has decent sunlight. It is a little cold, but we can warm it up. Its atmosphere is primarily CO2 with some nitrogen and argon and a few other trace elements, which means that we can grow plants on Mars just by compressing the atmosphere. Furthermore, the day is remarkably close to that of Earth.

Submitted by vienngoc2502 on Sun, 07/11/2021 - 02:46


So, as far as I know, the main similarities between Earth and Mars is that they can both support human life. Though Mars is colder than Earh. Its temperature is minus 55 degrees, cause it places further the Sun than Earth. Otherwise, there is less air on this planet and the water was frozen in the past. It's not at all, one more other difference between them is gravity. Mars gravity is much less than on Earth. It says Mars has about 38 percent of earth's gravity. Despite all of these things, I think people will live on Mars due to population explosion and environmental pollution.

Submitted by danielbacelar on Tue, 26/10/2021 - 21:01


It's possible... Our existence is tiny close to the size of the universe

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 08:51


Probably, yes, our future is bright. Scientists are doing hard work to know how to live in mars.

Submitted by Anasziz on Thu, 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

Submitted by Rolabaik on Thu, 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.

Submitted by Rolabaik on Thu, 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.

Submitted by krigss91350 on Sun, 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.

Submitted by Emily Mellor on Tue, 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.

Submitted by Kadir on Sat, 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.

Submitted by Elías Amitai on Mon, 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.

Submitted by KATIELLE RAIAN… on Tue, 27/07/2021 - 10:11

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

Submitted by mariadanielale… on Sun, 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.

Submitted by iEdd on Thu, 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.

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Thu, 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.

Submitted by Khin Yee Mon Khaing on Wed, 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.

Submitted by Pann Nilar Htun on Wed, 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.

Submitted by fontan on Sun, 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.

Submitted by Mai Khin Nway Shein on Sat, 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.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Thu, 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.

Submitted by Paula Bermúdez… on Wed, 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.

Submitted by MelizaDi on Thu, 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).

Submitted by AYLIN SC on Wed, 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.

Submitted by jeison0894 on Mon, 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.

Submitted by Morrow on Mon, 05/04/2021 - 09:16

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

Submitted by ANOUAR on Thu, 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...

Submitted by Frank Cuello on Wed, 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.

Submitted by karapetanya on Wed, 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

Submitted by Jos2021 on Sat, 20/03/2021 - 21:53

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

Submitted by Kay on Tue, 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.

Submitted by In on Sun, 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.

Submitted by Enas Almzoghi on Wed, 10/03/2021 - 16:36

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

Submitted by Ari on Mon, 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.

Submitted by Shalom on Sun, 07/03/2021 - 00:33

I doubt that humans will live there at all.

Submitted by Leila77 on Tue, 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.