Signs for HAVE

When translating from one language (English or any language) to another (ASL), word-for-word translation doesn't contain the same meaning in one language from another language.

ASL signs for HAVE

The verb "have" in English has many different concepts; thus, there are different ASL signs for different meanings in sentences.

Meaning: To possess, own, or hold.

Two-handed sign in formal citation.

Either one-handed or two-handed sign can be used interchangeably in everyday conversations.

Another meaning in ASL is to show existence of something.

Related signs: POSSESS, OWN.

Phrasal verbs

have to:

Meaning: To be obliged or find it necessary to do the specified thing; need or be obliged to do (something); be strongly recommended to do something.

Related signs: MUST.

have seen:

Meaning: been there; have seen, have done (something) before.

Usage example: "I have seen him at the park". Use FINISH+SEE for this context.

Opposite meaning: have not seen; have not done before.

Use other signs like SEE + NOT-YET, SEE + NONE.

have been to

Used to say that one has gone to a place or has visited a place; a place that one has been to.

ASL compound glossed as: FINISH+TOUCH.

Other meanings

Meaning: not accept; refuse to tolerate.

For example, the English sentence "I can't have you insulting Bob like that", you cannot use the ASL sign, HAVE. Instead, you use the concept: "not ACCEPT; refuse to tolerate"; that is NOT+ACCEPT(neg).


Related signs: RETAIN, not have / don't have.

Deaf History

Old ASL: this sign HAVE was seen signing by George Veditz in his 1913 film, "Preservation of the Sign Language".

"But fortunately we have several masters of our sign language still with us." -- Transcript.


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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 written for HAVE

ASL digit written and contributed by the ASLwrite community, 2017.

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