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Go Natural English Podcast | Listening & Speaking Lessons

Welcome to Go Natural English

Dec 20, 2019

“How have you been?” is a common question from native English speakers. It’s asking what you have been up to and how life has been for you from from a certain point in time. Perhaps you’re being asked how you’ve been doing since the last time you saw each other. Or maybe since the last time you spoke on the phone. Or it could also be since the last time you sent each other private messages online.

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You can see that it’s used in a similar way as “how are you?”However, your answer needs to be a little bit different.

But before we talk about how to answer this question, let’s talk about when to use or when to ask this question. To begin, there are two things to remember:

First, only ask this question if you have met someone previously.

Second, only ask them if you have not seen one another for some time (like a week or longer).

Most importantly, this is not a question to ask someone you have just met, nor is it a question to ask someone you just saw yesterday. The question is actually focusing on the chunk of time that has passed since you saw that person.