AND in sign language

"How do you say 'and' in American Sign Language?" Be aware that there is much grammar involved that this sign is almost not used.

ASL signs for 'and'

Used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences that are to be taken jointly.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant, loose "5" hand in space in front of signer with palm orientation facing in (toward signer) moves sideways to the right if right-handed at the same time the hand transforms into flat "O" handshape

Although this conjunction "and" is an English usage, this ASL sign is not directly used in ASL and isn't often used. Rather, it's conveyed in a different grammatical structure, using contrastive structure, ranking/listing grammar, ALSO-conjunction, and some more other ways.

ASL sign for AND


Another way of using "AND" in ASL is the conjunction "ALSO". Beginners typically use "and". Not frequently though, another use is PLUS in specific contexts.

The best way to learn "and" and "also" in ASL is to immerse in Deaf community for long enough to understand the use in contexts.

Hearing Culture: Y and Z

One of some observations is that English-speaking hearing people usually use "and" between the alphabetical letters "Y" and "Z" when spelling out the alphabetical order. E.g. ... U, V, X, Y, and Z.

In ASL, Deaf people including deaf children typically fingerspell out the alphabetical order all the way down to Z without the little word.

My bilingual toddler, whose first language has been ASL from birth, practiced the alphabetical order with me from A to Z. But, later her hearing teachers taught it differently at preschool. The preschooler fingerspelled with the English word "and" in it (that's how I became aware of it for the first time).

Fast forward, as of this writing, I'm curious whether she still uses it or rather had assimilated into ASL/Deaf culture. I asked my 11-year-old kid to fingerspell out the alphabetical order. She fingerspelled all the way down to Z. Right on!

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 AND

si5s digit, 2014.

ASL written for AND

The line for the open handshape can be a single.

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

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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.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

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.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

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.

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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.