Signs for HELP

ASL sign for HELP

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ASL signs for HELP

Meaning: Definition: To give assistance to (someone); make it easier for (someone) to do something.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant upright "10" handshape on the top of the passive (palm orientation up), both hands moving upward.

The verb HELP can be inflected to agree with the subject/object.

Meaning: Assistance; the action of helping someone to do something. E.g. IX-me NEED YOUR HELP+.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant upright "10" handshape tapping twice on the top of the passive (palm orientation up). Phonological variation: sometimes the passive palm taps.

Related signs: ASSIST, SUPPORT.

Usage/Grammar

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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 HELP

Variations of the inflected verbs for HELP.

HELP variants

A variant of the handshape (bent "5" with open thumb). [2017?]

ASL written for

Written ASL digit for "HELP!". Contributed by the ASLwrite community, 2018.

Deaf Culture and tidbits

Baby signing HELP

Watch how a baby/child acquires the ASL word HELP in a time lapse as a case study. Not all children develop the same way.

The baby "Juli" began using HELP pretty often at age 1;2 for the next few months. Then she expressed in different ways (e.g. HOW?). It's interesting to watch the phonological development.

Robbin Battison in the 1970s observed the constraints on the non-dominant hand of two-handed signs in ASL. Symmetry dominance states that if two hands made the same movement or alternating movement, then both hands consist of the same handshape.

Because this sign requires both hands to move at the same time, the infant used the same handshape for both hands. It may be challenging for an infant to move both hands with two different handshapes in the early development.

Another observation of the movement in the video is that in the early stage of the sign HELP, the movement was upward and downward repeatedly. Then later in the middle stage, the movement was downward but with one sharp, firm movement. After that, the movement became upward.

Feeling lucky? (random word)

Basic word starters: learn / ASL / sign language / alphabet / love / I love you / please / thank you / welcome...

Search Tips and Pointers

Search/Filter: Enter a keyword in the filter/search box to see a list of available words with the "All" selection. Click on the page number if needed. Click on the blue link to look up the word. For best result, enter a partial word to see variations of the word.

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Alphabetical letters: It's useful for 1) a single-letter word (such as A, B, etc.) and 2) very short words (e.g. "to", "he", etc.) to narrow down the words and pages in the list.

For best result, enter a short word in the search box, then select the alphetical letter (and page number if needed), and click on the blue link.

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Don't forget to click "All" back when you search another word with a different initial letter.

If you cannot find (perhaps overlook) a word but you can still see a list of links, then keep looking until the links disappear! Sharpening your eye or maybe refine your alphabetical index skill. :)

Add a Word: This dictionary is not exhaustive; ASL signs are constantly added to the dictionary. If you don't find a word/sign, you can send your request (only if a single link doesn't show in the result).

Videos: The first video may be NOT the answer you're looking for. There are several signs for different meanings, contexts, and/or variations. Browsing all the way down to the next search box is highly recommended.

Video speed: Signing too fast in the videos? See HELP in the footer.

Grammar: ASL has its own grammar and structure in sentences that works differently from English. For plurals, verb inflections, word order, etc., learn grammar in the "ASL Learn" section. For search in the dictionary, use the present-time verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same. If you look for a plural word, use a singular word.

Inflection: Many ASL words, especially verbs, in the dictionary are a "base"; be aware that many of them are grammatically inflectable within ASL sentences. Some entries have sentence examples.

Variation: Some ASL signs have regional (and generational) variations across North America. Some common variations are included as much as possible, but for specifically local variations, interact with your local community to learn their local variations.

Contextual meaning: Some ASL signs in the dictionary may not mean the same in different contexts and/or ASL sentences. You will see some examples in video sentences.

ASL is very much alive and indefinitely constructable as any spoken language. The best way to use ASL right is to immerse in daily language interactions and conversations with Deaf/Ameslan people (or ASLians).