Signs for LATE

ASL sign for LATE

How do you sign "late" in ASL?

Meaning: doing something or taking place after the expected, proper, or usual time; tardy; not prompt.

ASL Learner Tip #1: Not to be confused with NOT-YET which is produced with the required mouth morpheme "TH".

Tip #2: This sign LATE means tardy, not the same as LATER. These signs are often mixed up by hearing students.


Opposite: PUNCTUAL.

Minimal Pairs

NMS (non-manual signal): NOT-YET ('TH' mouth morpheme).

Deaf Culture and Hearing Culture in North America

In our observations as Deaf ASL instructors, hearing students typically entered and went straight to their seats in ASL classroom without explaining anything.

Whereas, in Deaf space (e.g. Deaf teacher and Deaf students in classes), a Deaf student who arrives late, usually briefly explains why she/he is late. Bad traffic. Sometimes, they explain nothing for some reason, "Sorry, late". There are exceptions such as conferences, large workshops, etc.

One possible reason for this cultural norm is that everyone knows one another in the close-tight community.

"The part I loved the most was learning that when someone comes into a classroom if he or she is late, it is explained why, as opposed to just rushing in and sitting down. That is so polite and genuine." -- ASL 112 student, 2014.

Politeness is culturally relative and different in cultures. What the very same action may be polite in one culture but may be impolite or inappropriate in another culture.

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