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  1. Carolyna

    Question 'have been'

    Hello There,

    What is the difference between 'how are you' and 'how have you been?'

    Is how have you been more formal or used when it's been a long time since I heard from that person?

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: 'have been'

    Welcome, Carolyna.

    [1] How are you? <present tense> / I'm fine, thank you.
    => How are you today, now, at the present time.

    [2] How have you been? <present perfect> / I've been fine, thank you.
    => From some unspecified time in the past all the way up to now, today.

    Both are of equal weight.

    All the best.

  3. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552

    Re: 'have been'

    "How have you been" often means "...since I last saw you?" So the first sentence is just asking after your health now, at this moment; while the second is asking for a complete medical history.

    (Well, not too complete. A couple of short sentences is usually enough.)

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,845

    Re: 'have been'

    Yes; keep it concise.


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