Is it true that we pronounce it as:
"Howve you been?"
And don't pronounce "ha"?
Am I right?

  • How have is often contracted to how've. (I don't understand what you mean by 'ha'). – Decapitated Soul Apr 1 at 14:17
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    Verbal usage is often sloppy and inexact. "Howve" seems to be one's pronunciation of the perceived contraction "How've" for "how have". Enunciation always makes clear the meaning of speech. So, don't be lazy. Say all of the words. – Katherine Apr 1 at 14:20
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    Native English speakers do this naturally. You should not imitate them. Pronounce all the sounds clearly. – Decapitated Soul Apr 1 at 14:24
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    @DecapitatedSoul Why should you not imitate native speakers? There's nothing wrong with saying "How've you been?" – Kevin Apr 1 at 15:35
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    @DecapitatedSoul Not using contractions is a trope to make a character sound alien or not a native English speaker. Think Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Learning contractions correctly is essential for English learners, e.g. one should almost never say "let us", but instead say "let's". – CJ Dennis Apr 2 at 0:09

"How've" is a common contraction of "how have". I'm pleasantly surprised to find that Grammarly accepted it as I typed it just now. As this is a contraction of speech, you wouldn't write it like that unless you were writing dialogue.

As for the pronunciation - it is common in almost all languages for certain regional dialects to develop where letters and sounds are dropped. Again, when writing dialogue, some authors creatively represent regional dialects with made-up contractions and the like. Ideally, an English learner should avoid imitating these and follow pronunciation guides in dictionaries.

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    This answer slightly implies that "How've" is a regional/accent 'thing' but I don't really believe it is, rather it is the difference between carefully spoken language, (e.g. as newsreaders used to do it, or a rehearsed speech), versus casual conversation. – Mike Brockington Apr 1 at 15:23
  • @MikeBrockington That wasn't my intention - I've written two paragraphs to answer the two parts of the OP's question. I don't mention regional dialects in my first paragraph about the contraction itself. – Astralbee Apr 1 at 17:20

"How have you been?" is pronounced "how have you been".

"How've you been?" is pronounced "how've you been".

"How have you been?" is formal, "How've you been?" is informal. Writing is usually formal and speech is often informal.

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