Definition: Introducing a conditional clause; used to talk about the imaginary result or effect of something that may happen or be true; used to say that something must happen before another thing can happen
How to sign "if" in American Sign Language (ASL)? There are three common ASL words or signs which are interchangeable in most cases, not always.
Fingerspelling loan. One movement.
Usage example: "If she was feeling sick, it's good that she went home" -> ASL glossed as "IF TRUE+WORK IX1 SICK, GOOD THING IX1 GO(var) HOME".
Fingerspelling loan. The movement may be once, twice, or multiple (wiggling fingers), depending on the contexts.
Usage example: "If you study hard, you will pass your test", ""
Variation; also "SUPPOSE".
Usage example: "If I were rich, I'd buy you a diamond ring".
This old ASL sign appears to be less used, if not obsolete, these days than the other variations above.
Learner Tip: Not to confuse this with the ASL homophone COURT.
How do you say "if I were you"?
Meaning: used when giving advice or guidance about what you would do in the same situation as the other person -- as in I would do it if I were you.
Glossed as IF + YOU-ME-REVERSED.
Similar: "in your situation, I would".
But, how would you say "if he/she were something else"?
Example: "If he were a woman, he would still be a vigorous leader". In ASL, you can say "IF SELF" in the proper pronominal space.
You can do a fun activity, practicing ASL vocabulary and grammar with the phrase "if I were".
Do exercises: 1) If you were a bird, what would you do? Not just one thing, name as many things as you can think of. 2) If I were rich (if you're poor) or poor (if you're rich), I would... 3) If I were young again, I would...
Be careful what you wish for.
Synonyms: SUPPOSE, as long as, in the event that.
First 100 words.
As you feel more comfortable with the first few hundreds of ASL signs, progress further with your vocabulary and learn signing more.