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  1. Carolyna
    Guest
    #1

    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
    #2

    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
    #3

    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.)

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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #4

    Re: 'have been'

    Yes; keep it concise.

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