HOPE in sign language

How to sign "hope" in American Sign Language (ASL)? Two common variations can be used in some contexts, but not interchangeable in some contexts.

ASL signs for HOPE

Definition: A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen or fulfill.

Pronunciation (sign description): Two-handed "R" handshape or cross fingers apart held in space move outward twice.

Usage examples: "Will it rain tomorrow? I hope not", "I hope that he will succeed", "I hope your wishes will come true", "I hope that you have a great time", "I hope that she passed the exam", I hope so".

The two signs can be mostly interchangeable in general. Though, to native eye of Deaf signers, they may be subtly a very little different in some contexts.

Meaning: To wish for favorable outcome or for a particular event that one considers possible.

Pronunciation (sign description): Two bent flat hands, held in space with dominant higher in space than the other, fingers of both flip twice (or once in some contexts).

Learner tip: Not to confuse this similar sign HOPE with EXPECT.

Usage examples: "hope and pray", "there is no hope of his recovery", "Where there is life there is hope" (ASL glossed as "/\HAVE LIFE/\, [nod] HAVE HOPE").


Related signs: WISH, GOAL.

Opposite: HOPELESS.

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