How to tell age in ASL

This describes how to tell an age in the form of age [number] in ASL (American Sign Language) for "[number] years old" in English.

This is the ASL word for the gloss age. Then you add the number. E.g. i/me age 18 in ASL. That is translated as I am 18 years old in English.

The palm orientation faces out when telling the age between the numbers one and five, whereas when telling the cardinal numbers between one and five, the palm orientation faces in.

For the rest of cardinal numbers, the palm orientation is the same when telling the age as the regular numbers.

ix-loc age 38
She/he is 38 years old.

The gloss age is usually signed before the number in ASL structure. It is the reversal in English structure. ASL learners often sign in the English order and need to remember the correct order in ASL.

Age's

This shows how to say age in the 20s, 30s, etc. The signer twists around the letter "s" right after the number.

Gloss: age 30s.
English equivalent: age in the 30s.

ASL Numbers: Age in Years

There are two different ways of telling the age for the numbers from one to nine. Below demonstrates two ways.

The first part is the ASL word for age. Then you sign the number. That is, age [number] in ASL. The English translation is [number] year old.

Note that the palm orientation for the numbers 1 to 5 for age faces out, unlike the cardinal numbers 1 to 5 whose palm orientation faces in.

This is sort of a portmanteau, a blend of two signs, age and a number. The gloss looks like this: age-one, using a dash which represents one word/sign. It is called as "numeral incorporation", in this case, for the numbers one to nine only for ASL learners.

Note that there are fluent and native signers who use numeral incorporation for numbers beyond 10, but we focus on the common "Rule of 9" for ASL beginners to understand the fundemental of the Rule of 9 for many number-related categories, such as hours, week, months, plural pronouns, etc.

More practice with her using numeral incorporation in telling age between one and nine.

For the rest of the numbers beyond ten, the number is not incorporated with the sign age. One signs in this form: age #.

Age in Months

This describes how to tell an age in the form of age [number] month in ASL for "[number] months old". There are two different ways of telling the age for the numbers from one to nine. Below demonstrates two ways.

age three month

The first part is the ASL word for age. Then you sign the number five and month in ASL. The English translation is five months old.

age [number] month

Practice signing with her.

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You can also incorporate the numbers with months between the numbers one and nine. The first part is the ASL word for age. Then you sign the incorporated number five with month in ASL. Numbers beyond ten cannot be incorporated.

In summary: two ways (an incorporated number with month or year and a non-numerally incorporated signs) are interchangeable or acceptable for the numbers between one and nine. But, for the numbers beyond ten, the number is not incorporated with the sign month. One signs in this form: age # month.

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