说实话，很多学生在听难度系数比较大的托福听力文章时，是不太会注意一些听起来很简单的人物名字的，Mary, Eric, Jeff等，听的时候一晃而过，并无半点印象。而本篇文章我们就来谈谈在托福听力中那些很重要的人物关系，梳理一下这些人物关系常见的出题思路。
在TPO 41 Conversation 1这篇文章中有一段话是这样的：
Professor: Professor Garfield, one of the professors over at the field station...
Student: Yeah, I've heard of him.
Professor: Yes, well. Professor Garfield has been doing research on salt marshes for years, assessing human impact and methods of salt marsh restoration. He is willing to oversee your project.
Student: Wow! That's too good an opportunity to pass up.
Professor: I thought you'd say that. When I spoke with Dr. Garfield, he suggested you take a particular course he'll be teaching here in the spring. It's called advanced topics in salt marsh management. The course looks at salt marsh ecology in depth and it also focuses on factors that stress salt marsh systems and how to assess and monitor the level of stress.
看一下加粗斜体字部分，在这篇对话文章中出现了一个叫做Garfield的老师，这个就是我们需要注意的人物关系。那对于人物出现后，我们要注意的内容是什么呢？这一大段对话内容其实可以简单地缩减成：Professor Garfield＋头衔和研究内容介绍＋he suggested you take a particular course＋课程介绍。再缩减一下，真正重要的就是：Professor Garfield建议你参加一个课程。
2. What does Professor Garfield suggest the student do during the spring term?
A. Take a particular class
B. Modify his research topic
C. Pay the field-station program fee
D. Begin collecting data
Professor: Do you know John Arnold?
Student: Not really, but he lives in my dorm. Why?
Professor: John's another ecology student who will be the Field Station next summer. I approved an independent research project for him, too. Initially, he had the same concern as you. To discuss questions concerning studying abroad, feel free to contact. But anyway, his topic will be similar to yours. He'll be researching now bridges and culverts ‘that have been installed to allow tidal waters to move underneath roads between the sea and the salt marshes.
明显地，这段话中出现了一个“人物John Arnold”, 那么在听听力的时候就要竖起耳朵注意这段人物关系了，类似地，这段话可以缩减成：John Arnold是我的室友＋他也做了某样研究＋研究的主题。
3. What do the student and John Arnold have in common? Click on 2 answers.
A. They were both on the waiting list for the summer field program.
B. They will both be doing research involving salt marshes.
C. They often volunteer to help restore salt marshes.
D. They live in the same university dormitory.
综上，在这篇文章中其实这两道题目的考点都是人物关系，而且对于答案的获取，其实就是听这个人物关系表述中除了细枝末节的一些核心语句。事实上，对于对话中出现的“人物”，最常考的形式是对于这些人物的经历经验的考查。通常以举例题的形式考到。结合举例题的做题方法，在statement + example的举例结构中，只要抓住statement的内容，就可以很容易地找到答案了。
比如说在TPO 9 Conversation 1中，第二题是这样的：
2. Why does the professor mention his previous jobs?
A. To explain why the woman should study physics, math, and chemistry
B. To recommend that the woman get a summer job on a fishing boat
C. To point out that industry jobs can lead to a teaching career
D. To confirm an assumption the woman made about finding a job
Professor: Before we get started, I...I just wanted to say I’m glad you chose food science for your major course of study.
Student: Yeah, it seems like a great industry to get involved with. I mean with a four-year degree in food science, I'll always be able to find a job.
Professor: You're absolutely right. Before entering academia, I worked as a scientist for several food manufacturers and for the US Food and Drug Administration. I even worked on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska a couple of summers while I was an undergraduate. We’d bring in the day's catch to a floating processor boat where the fish got cleaned, packaged and frozen right at sea.
Student: That's amazing!
我们不妨再缩减一下这段话的内容，结果是：选food science作为专业会很好找工作＋是的＋老师做过的工作。那么题目问的是为什么提到老师的经历，其实就相当于为什么会提到这个例子。按照找statement的方法，答案往前找，所以选D. To confirm an assumption the woman made about finding a job食品工程很好找工作。
那么在讲座中人物关系是怎样出现的呢？讲座中的人物关系通常出现在一些人文学科中，比如在TPO 15 Lecture 3和TPO 26 Lecture 4都提到了Archimedes阿基米德，常考的是和Parchment羊皮纸有关的内容，还有会提到Plato, 常考的是和education有关的内容，还有Vincent van Gogh讲的是一些绘画技巧等。所以建议考生多熟悉一些学科的代表人物以及贡献和成就。
至于考查形式，在讲座中一般的人物关系是以举例子或者比较这样的内容来说的。在TPO 42 Lecture 1 Art History的讲座内容中，主要内容讲的是sculpture雕像塑像颜色的问题，原文提到Certain features of the sculpture were highlighted through color, were made to stand out. In other words, they caused the viewer to focus on certain features. And certain colors represented certain things to the ancient artists and cultures. A color might symbolize heroism, divinity or youth.
雕像塑像的某些特点会通过颜色来体现，有些颜色代表英雄主义等等。紧接着就提出来一个例子One example to consider is the statue of Roman emperor Augustus。Augustus（奥古托斯），其实就是屋大维，然后这一整段就在讲这个Augustus雕像塑像的内容。
在Art History的文章中也会出现过程发展结构，出现一件事情发展过程中串联起来的多个人物的情况，那么除开这个人物本身的描述以外，还会出现这些人物之间的一些比较之类的东西，也是值得大家注意的。以TPO 30 Lecture 4 Music History为例，在这个内容中出现的了Les Paul和Jimi Hendrix对于小提琴发展做出贡献和改变的两个人物，文中提到：Electrified guitars already existed by the time Les Paul came into the picture around 1940. What Paul did was experiment with ways of removing the distortions and he succeeded. He designed a guitar with a solid body that relied solely on electronics. Paul’s solid body eliminated the vibrations, and thus the distortions.
Student: Excuse me. But when I think of electric guitar music, I think of Jimi Hendrix. But Hendrix’s style really was all about distortion, that’s what’s so great about his music, all those special effects. I think a lot of rock and roll fans prefer that to a pure sound. 这两个人物对于声音distortion的表达是对立的，所以听的过程中要注意对比。