PLAY in sign language

Printable ASL sign for PLAY
Printable

How do you say 'play' in ASL for one common definition and for other meanings?

ASL signs for "play"

Definition: Engage in fun activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose; take part in (a sport).

Pronunciation (production): Two-handed "Y" (handshape), palms in (orientation), apart in space (location), rotate downward twice at the wrists (movement).

Related signs: RELAX, FUN.

Opposite: WORK.


If you talk about a dramatic work to be acted on stage, use the sign: two-handed "10" hands with the palms facing each other in contact with the sides of the chest alternatly moves downward twice in a circular motion.

The sign looks similar as DRAMA.


Another meaning is to play music (or any musical instrument) or to make music, you don't use the sign "play" as shown above. Instead, you use different expressions, usually with the classifier phrases.

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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.