TURN in sign language

My goodness, it's going to be a long night. There is nearly no limit as to how to sign "turn" in American Sign Language, depending on what subjects, objects, and verbs are.

ASL signs for "turn"

No exact word-for-word translation for the English word "turn". These give you some general ideas as how to use "turn" that can be conveyed in different ways in ASL.

Meaning: to cause to move in a circle around a fixed point or a center; make rotate or revolve. See some possible synonyms: MOVE, REVOLVE<, SPIN, ROTATE, ROLL, TWIRL, TWIST, go around.

Usage examples: "the wheel was turning".

Meaning: to change the position of one's body so that one is facing in a different direction; to change direction. See TURN AROUND

Usage example: "The brother turned and looked at his sister to say one more farewell".

Meaning: to take turn (in a game, conversation, etc.). See TURN-TAKING.

Meaning: to change in form, state, or nature, state, form; to become. See BECOME, CHANGE, TRANSFORM, ...

Meaning: to send or let go. See LEAVE, SHOO AWAY (drive away).

Usage example: "The security officer turned away the crows at the gate of the shopping mall".


Some examples show you how to use phrasal verbs for "turn".

turn left/right

Meaning: To turn to the left side.

Variant: You can also sign the above "TURN" plus "LEFT" for more clarity or emphasis.

Whether you're right-handed or left-handed, you must follow the same side. I.e. if left, then left from the signer's perspective.

Meaning: To make a turn to the right.


While there are some ASL verbs you can look up, classifiers are something that you cannot look up but need to know how to use based on the principles. Here are some examples to give you a general idea.

Meaning (flip turn): To cause your body or a part of your body to face a different direction at a wall in swimming. E.g. "practice doing a flip turn in freestyle".

A lot more...


There are many different signs for the English word 'turn' in sentences. Look at the related words for more signs.

Related signs: TURN AROUND, U-TURN, turn UPSIDE DOWN.


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