Telling the price in dollars and cents

This tutorial shows you how to tell a price in dollars and cents in American Sign Language (ASL).

Below shows how to tell dollars in flat dollars.

cost/price three-dollar

cost/price five-dollar

Notice that the signer twists her wrist for these flat dollars. It works only with the numbers from one to nine.

The video above shows how to sign the dollars from one to five.

Another way of expressing a price in flat dollars is to sign a number and then DOLLAR instead of twisting the wrist. These two versions below show two different ways of expressing flat dollars.

one dollar


If you overlook a subtle difference between these two English glosses one dollar and one-dollar, notice the dash "-" in one of them.

The former English gloss has no dash between two English words "one" and "dollar". It means there are two ASL signs ONE and DOLLAR. Whereas, the latter gloss has a dash between two English words. It means that there is one ASL sign, but there is no single English word for an equivalency so the dash is used to indicate one word in ASL.

five dollar

And so on. The twisting-wrist part can work with only numbers from one through nine. For the rest of other numbers from ten to hundreds. Use the structure: COST [CARDINAL NUMBER] + DOLLAR.

You have learned how to express basic dollars. Now these will show you how to tell prices in dollars and cents as well as asking how much it cost.

cost/price $5.50

cost/price $5.75

Notice that the twisting movement of the wrist is only once, unlike the above, when it comes to involving the cents. Yes, more subtle rules. It's not that we make these rules. It's the brain that makes production rules in language acquisition of native signers.

It works with numbers from one through nine. No sign for cent in this structure.

cost/price $78.25

For dollars beyond ten with cents, the signer doesn't twist the wrist. The number ten that has a wrist twist is a coincidence. When expressing dollars and cents, use the POINT.

cost/price $17.99

In addition to expressing dollars and cents using POINT as shown above, another way of expressing the price is the structure as this: COST [cardianl number] DOLLAR [cardinal number] CENT. Here are a few more examples.

Gloss: 30 dollar 75 cent

Gloss: five dollar 25 cent

That's all for now. This tutorial is not exhaustive. Practice and become familiar with the basic prices in American Sign Language.