How to tell FUTURE time in American Sign Language

Learn some basic time tense vocabulary in American Sign Language (ASL).

Auxiliary verb: WILL.



Tell future in years

The following illustrations demonstrate some ASL signs to express a number of next years.


English equivalent: next year (next one year).


The numeral handshape of the ASL word next-year can be incorporated with a number between 1 and 5. Beyond the numbers from six, one signs the number and then "year" (informal) which has a different movement from the regular or formal "year".

And so on.


Numeral incorporation doesn't work with the rest of the numbers. This video shows the similar format for the rest of the numbers.


Use the cardinal numbers for the rest of the numbers in a similar format as the previous ones.

Another way of signing this expression is this format: # + YEAR + LATER but this can be referred to the future tense or the past tense in a story (e.g. My grandmother moved to America and got married in 1890. Fifteen years later, she died).

Another way is FUTURE + # + YEAR. E.g. MAYBE FUTURE 8+YEAR IX-me MOVE-OUT.

Related posts

Related tutorial: Telling o'clock.