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!

First 100 words.

  1. again
  2. also
  3. ask
  4. bad
  5. boy
  6. but
  7. can
  8. come
  9. deaf
  10. different
  11. drink
  12. drive
  13. eat
  14. email
  15. excuse
  16. family
  17. feel
  18. few
  19. find
  20. fine
  21. fingerspell
  22. finish
  23. food
  24. for
  25. forget
  26. friend
  27. get
  28. girl
  29. give
  30. go
  31. good
  32. have, has, had
  33. he
  34. hearing
  35. hello
  36. help
  37. home
  38. how
  39. Internet
  40. know
  41. later
  42. like (feeling)
  43. little
  44. live
  45. man
  46. many
  47. me
  48. meet
  49. more
  50. my
  51. name
  52. need
  53. new
  54. no
  55. not
  56. now
  57. ok, okay
  58. old
  59. other
  60. please
  61. remember
  62. same
  63. say
  64. school
  65. see
  66. she
  67. should
  68. sign, signed word
  69. slow
  70. some
  71. sorry
  72. store
  73. take
  74. tell
  75. text, sms
  76. thank, thank you
  77. their
  78. they
  79. think
  80. time
  81. tired
  82. try
  83. understand
  84. use
  85. wait
  86. want
  87. what
  88. when
  89. where
  90. which
  91. who
  92. why
  93. will
  94. with
  95. woman
  96. work
  97. write
  98. yes
  99. you
  100. your

As you feel more comfortable with the first few hundreds of ASL signs, progress further with your vocabulary and learn signing more.