WANT in sign language

So, you want to learn American Sign Language? Whether it's one's first language or second language, the word "want" is definitely one of the first words to learn.

ASL sign for "want"

It's good to know how to sign "want" in American Sign Language (ASL).

Meaning: To have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for.

Pronunciation (sign description): Two-handed "loose-5" held in mid-space, palms up, drawn backward at the same time the handshape of the hands forms into the "claw" shape.

Usage: Pretty much anything when you mean "want".

Beyond basics

You may notice some Deaf signers inflecting "want" to convey a synonym, such as "really want", "want so badly", "wanna?" and such. And, even the opposite NOT-WANT.

Toddler signing "want"

Can't imagine a toddler without the word "want" in their core of vocabulary in any language. There were so many video clips that I had to cut down a number of them.

The bilingual ASL-speaking toddler "Juli" began to use "want" a lot during the second and third years, like most toddlers. At age 2;1, she wanted to tell me something she wanted and then immediately turned her head around so that she couldn't see me say "no". Notice the one-handed version at age 2;5. Also notice how she used the classifier for the car to describe the direction. At age 2;8, she emphasized when signing "want". At age 3;1, she didn't want to use the baby grocery cart. Rather, she wanted to ride in the regular cart instead. Big girl, ha.




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Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

ASL writing for WANT

Contributed by ASLwrite.

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