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 Cande Ansy on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 01:37

I think that we could live on Mars in the future because science advances very fast, so if someday we have problems with global warming and the earth becomes a place where we cannot live, you could go to Mars and continue.

Submitted by tchok on Tue, 16/06/2020 - 20:29

From my point of view, people will live on Mars one day. Firstly, many studies are currently available on the possibilities to live on Mars. Secondly, it will be like a discovery form rich people who will organize some trips over there. What's more, due to the rapid pollution of the earth and climate change challenges we should find another place to live on it.

Submitted by Ayoub-XxBuoYaxX on Tue, 16/06/2020 - 19:03

According to the fast that science is developing, we may someday hear of the possibility to live on the Mars. Indeed, a bunch of things that old man couldn't even was thinking about, however it have realised in the present time. For instance, the fly which was in prior days crazy thought but now planes have invented . There various stuff were impossible yesterday become possible today.

Submitted by mohamed Elgendy on Mon, 15/06/2020 - 14:30

I think it is not possible to live in Mars, because of cold weather, Water , Oxygen and the whole environment there isn't convenient for human living. And our god "Allah" says that in the holly book " Quran " that there will not be life in another place rather than Earth. But, In the future , I think it will be easier to travel to Mars due to huge development in transport and space-craft, So, I think there will be travels for entertainment and we may use things on Mars to fulfill our needs and deficit on Earth.

Submitted by sorayajesus on Mon, 15/06/2020 - 10:43

I think that is possible, because the science is developing much quickly. I believe that space station will be built, like the ones in the movies. But, it will be very expensive.

Submitted by Lizochka on Sat, 13/06/2020 - 19:17

I think it will be impossible for us to live on Mars, because Mars doesnt have all required for living here!

Submitted by ishernandez on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 06:39

Is complicated to state about the life in Mars, nowadays there are a lot of theories regarding the life in this planet but neither has been proven so to think about the possibility for human life in the future is a little tough, but I'm sure that the science will make more researches and probably with the results we could have a better conclusion related to this topic.

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Wed, 10/06/2020 - 08:36

Relevant to this case, it says that one day human can live there. But in my view, there are many different problems which can cause problems for living on Mars. For instances, gravity, lower temperature, lack of air and introducing energy are just some of them. As we know, living on Earth needs a lot of energy and it is the main reason of many disputes in the world. Water is another problem, if on Mars it doesn't exist. It says that living on Earth will led to many problems by lack of water and energy in the future, we can anticipate the situation of living on Mars. On the other hand, I believe on science and technology. If we go to past centuries, we can realize the effects of science in our living. Therefore, I mean it is not impossible that one day human can go and live there without any problems. I hope so. Regards, Tayyebi

Submitted by Havan saberi on Wed, 03/06/2020 - 21:13

Despite the very low temperature on Mars, the little amount of air is the problem. I think if we will solve this issue by plantation for instance, we could live on Marc one day.

Submitted by Tu Le on Tue, 02/06/2020 - 04:56

I think we can live in Mars in the far future, because there’s no more air and water for people life

Submitted by Julia19 on Mon, 01/06/2020 - 11:40

People have dreaming about life on Marce for a long time. Many books were written about invasion this planet. But I think that people never will live there as on earth. The conditions are rather distinguish so the supporting life needs a lot of cost. In my opionion, we can only spend research works in this place but not live as a human society.

Submitted by wido on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 22:27

I think not , because of two reasons,one is air, the second is water. the mars is caller than earth they can't live in this circumstances.

Submitted by Massimo on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 08:04

No, I don’t think so at all! The mankind needs blu sky, blu oceans, green forests and many other things there aren’t on Mars.

Submitted by mouna99 on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 13:47

with the evolution of sciences I can say maybe one day people will live on Mars

Submitted by Codjoah on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 22:53

Hi, According to me and it's even impossible in the future for humains to live on Mars because of the weather conditions: Mars is more colder than the earth, its gravity is 38% of the earth, not much more air for life, no water and so one.

Submitted by Miho Watanabe on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 16:43

I think people will live on Mars, but it is not near future. Of course, there are a lot of people on Earth now, but the population of some country such japan is decreasing now. So, people should not live on Mars yet.

Submitted by Nagato on Thu, 21/05/2020 - 11:43

I think that the life in mars is impossible even we use a special clothes for protection also no matter how science progresses, we cannot challenge nature

Submitted by Vinh on Wed, 20/05/2020 - 16:08

Ithink people no longer will life on the mars

Submitted by IBRAHIM HAMID on Mon, 18/05/2020 - 15:37

Fristly thank you for a valuable information, and I think so with the massive progress of the space research and different technologies, but of course doesn't like to people lives on earth.

Submitted by senes19 on Mon, 18/05/2020 - 12:09

I have an idea about that. Probably human who is boring with this planet, will leave from Earth. Because there is unfair sharing, bad behaviors in this world. Maybe another planet will solve humans problems. It will create a new world. I think it has to able to support adequately our life. Holy books may show us a way to explore.
I totally agree, I hope new research and technology one day allows us to travel and live on Mars! We are so fed up with planet earth.

Submitted by Chipinque on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 17:54

Probably if people creates elementary infrastructure to live there, I think life will be pretty rubbish and boring at first, and how expensive to live there would that be?

Submitted by vaniafed on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 13:33

I think so, but according to people's priorities, it won't happen very soon. Because people like making troubles and doing things which won't do any help to humanity itself.

Submitted by AlejoPB on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 17:16

I think that could be possible, the humans every day are looking for new technological advances and ways to create an artificial environment, for this, I believe that possibly shortly to live in mars, however in not good and comfortable conditions.

Submitted by Olumy20 on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 19:15

Possibly but not without challenges, it will take alot of conditioning for human to survive in Mars. But never say never

Submitted by Albert Marambio on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 02:52

I was thinking to get to mars, but it will take a long time that happens,as I do not beleive people get to the moon,so ,in my opinion isn't easy...

Submitted by Ben2008 on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 02:50

I don't think people will live one day on March because the climate on that planet is very likely to remain as it is i.e. lacking oxygen. Human beings can't just live in an atmosphere which lacks oxygen.

Submitted by Rehaf on Tue, 12/05/2020 - 00:16

they can but not like how we live here i think it well be a lots of condition to make that be

Submitted by Bhre Satriavi on Sun, 10/05/2020 - 17:18

i would rather save out earth than move to new planet like mars. what we should do is plant more trees and reduce a development infrastructure in several place because there are a place should be used as lungs of the world like amazon forest and Kalimantan island with it's tropical forest.

Submitted by mgalezzo on Fri, 08/05/2020 - 02:12

I think, that people can live on Mars one day if they have special clothes to protect them of cold. Beside they should use mask with oxygen and nitrogen.

Submitted by AMOUGOU Abega … on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 04:41

Is quite difficult nowdays, because if mars is as colder as antarctic it'll very tricky to live there. Nowdays scientists can't change climate conditions in the antarctic, but if with futher researches they finally change climat condition and allow people to live there, i think the same changement could be done on march

Submitted by Santiago22 on Mon, 04/05/2020 - 19:11

Hello everybody, i think Mars is a possibility planet for life, but we don't know how to live here, in the Earth, so we need first know how to live here, in peace with the nature and obviously with other persons, then we can think in live in other planet, maybe in the future we will, but for now we need know the peace.

Submitted by lualopezbe on Sun, 03/05/2020 - 01:49

For me is possible, several cientificts is working in tecnologies that allow us live in Mars one day, on the other hand, nowdays the tecnology is growing exponentially.

Submitted by saadabdulkader on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 20:13

For the first time i knew that the Earth is bigger than Mars

Submitted by CRIS2102 on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 04:36

I don't belive humans can live in other planet different to Earth.

Submitted by Tomofumi on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 11:04

I think there are a lot of imcredible resources in Mars. It is definitely helpful for us to find them. Recently, some people have found the ways which get easy accesses to space. I'm really interested in the development of rockets.

Submitted by rerre on Wed, 29/04/2020 - 17:31

It is a good unit to practice comparison. I conclude I should review this grammar point. There are interesting sentences to learn how you have to say in English language ideas of proportion like "It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth". For me, sometimes the structure with as...as is a trick :/

Submitted by Naw Ring on Wed, 29/04/2020 - 04:53

I don't think that we can survial in Mars with such a little water.

Submitted by Aye Nyine San on Tue, 28/04/2020 - 08:00

How can i put the characteristics in the correct group .i mean what keys should i use to drag those characteristcs

Hello Aye Nyine San

When you want to add another sentence to a group, you have to click or press on the small white hand at the side of the words already in the box. If you don't do this, then the new words will stay but the old words will disappear from the box.

It's a little difficult to explain, so please let me know if you'd like me to explain it again.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Masas on Mon, 27/04/2020 - 23:11

We can live there , but I'm not thinking about this time we need a lot of studies on oxygen on Mars as well as on water I think if these development countries are beginning to think about this goal and they support studies, perhaps after 100 years, we can live on Mars  

Submitted by Maddalena on Sat, 25/04/2020 - 19:42

No, I don't. Maybe one day we would be able to go on Mars and we'd discover life, but I'm sure that if life exist on Mars this would be very different from life on Earth.

Submitted by Tolani on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 23:49

I don't think it will be possible to live in Mars.

Submitted by Dorian Recio on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 12:33

I think that is a good listening because it is easy and you learn new things from Mars. An example would be that Mars is further from the Sun than Earth and that it has lees gravity.

Submitted by Pol Martin on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 11:33

It is good listening because everything is understood well, and can be done easily.

Submitted by ademyonet on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 08:29

Yeah! People will live a day on Mars in the future. Because there is life on Mars. They sometimes come on the Earth ve we see them but we say that we saw UFO this night. Also NASA found some life signs. Even people will build city on Mars in the future. SpaceX, Elon Mask started to study before a long time. I wait that we will go to Mars ve trip of Mars.

Submitted by Carole Anh on Thu, 23/04/2020 - 14:27

If Mars has all the elements for mankind to live, why not :-)