American manual alphabet

ASL letter AASL letter SASL letter L

What is ASL alphabet?

The one-handed American sign language alphabet is a set of 26 manual alphabetical letters, corresponding to the English alphabet. It is used to fingerspell a string of the alphabetical letters of a certain English or any spoken word, person's name, etc.

There are different manual alphabets around the world. The American manual alphabet with a few modifications is derived from the French manual alphabet of the 18th century. Its cognates can be found in other signed languages' manual alphabets. For example, the German and American manual alphabets are similar; however, ASL and German Sign Language are completely different. For tips, see the bottom.

You can download the poster (pdf) of American Manual Alphabet.

ASL alphabet chart

Those images show what you're seeing as a listener. As a right-handed signer, you'd see the back of those images.

A

ASL Alphabet A

b

ASL Alphabet A

C

ASL Alphabet A

Tip: Pay attention to the thumb for A and S.

D

ASL Alphabet A

E

ASL Alphabet A

F

ASL Alphabet A

Learner tip: Be aware of the common confusion between F and D. Pay attention to D and F when you spell one of them.

Tip: Make sure your E is clear, keeping the thumb away from the index finger to avoid slipping it into O.

G

ASL Alphabet A

H

ASL Alphabet A

I

ASL Alphabet A

J

ASL Alphabet A

K

ASL Alphabet A

L

ASL Alphabet A

Tip: K and P have different upward/downward palm orientation.

M

ASL Alphabet A

N

ASL Alphabet A

O

ASL Alphabet A

Tip: Pay attention to the thumb for M and N.

P

ASL Alphabet A

Q

ASL Alphabet A

R

ASL Alphabet A

Tip: K and P have different upward/downward palm orientation.

S

ASL Alphabet A

T

ASL Alphabet A

Tip: Pay attention to the thumb for A and S.

Tip: Pay attention to the thumb for T that is different from M and N.

U

ASL Alphabet A

V

ASL Alphabet A

W

ASL Alphabet A

X

ASL Alphabet A

Y

ASL Alphabet A

Z

ASL Alphabet A

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