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How to Speak Casual English: Dropped H in Have

Americans often drop the H in all forms of the verb "to have." This is not done 100% of the time, but about 50%. We do this naturally (without thinking about it) when speaking quickly and casually. As you can see in the sentences below, this often happens in everyday questions. Notice that T becomes a D when this rule causes the T to come between vowel sounds. Also, you will see that the A sounds usually reduce to the simple U sound--as in "up." However, it is o.k. to keep the A sound too. The S in "has" is actually a light Z sound, just like in the word "is." 

Use the sentences below to practice removing the H in forms of have. Review rules of casual speech. Review T sound rules. Review S and Z rules.

After reviewing these sentences, get more practice with this conversation using have.

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Written English     

Spoken English

How have you been?
How'uv you ben?

What has he done?
Whad'uz he done?  or  What'uz'e done?

Where has she gone?
Where'uz she gone?

What have you been doing?
Whad'uv you ben doing?

What has he been up to?
Whad'uz he ben up to?  or  Whad'uz'e ben up to?

Why have you called?
Why'uv you called?

Who have you been talking to?
Who'uv you ben talking to?

Where have I heard that before?
Where'uv I heard that before?

That's the best thing that has happened all day!
That's the best thing thad'uz happened all day!

Those are the people that have caused so much trouble.
Those are the people thad'v caused so much trouble.

What had he done?
Whad'ud he done?  or  What'ud'e done?

What had she been doing?
Whad'ud she ben doing?

Where had she gone?
Where'ud she gone?

* It is also possible to drop the vowel completely in phrases with "has," as in "what's he done?" In this case, you will have normal T and S sounds. This is acceptable in speech, though it is slang. "What's" grammatically equals "what is."

Get more practice with this conversation using have.

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