THANK YOU in sign language

Drawing for THANK-YOU

Thank you, or simply thanks is an expression of gratitude. It seems that this form of respect or appreciation can be understood and expressed even by one-year-old baby or a pet. As I tore a pack of wet food, my one-year-old cat bumped her head onto my hand and stroke hard to show appreciation.

ASL signs for "thank you"

How do you sign "thank", "thank you" or thanks in ASL (American Sign Language)?

Meaning: Definition: A polite expression used when acknowledging a gift, service, or compliment, or accepting or refusing an offer; expression of gratitude or appreciation.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant flat hand, with its palm facing in, fingers in contact with the chin, moves forward away from the chin.

This same sign can be also expressed for thanks.

This basic ASL word THANK-YOU is also inflected to reflect the verb "THANK" in agreement with the subject-object order. E.g. THANK-HIM/HER.


Meaning: an expression of gratitude; thanks so much.

One-handed and two-handed versions with a number of movements convey a gradient of meanings in contexts. E.g. thank you so much.

If you sign THANK-YOU with both hands (and sometimes with the movement than once), it can express as "thank you very much" or "thanks so much".

Related words

If using both hands plus two movements or more, it can express as "many thanks" or THANKFUL, when one feel much appreciation. It's not a black-and-white rule, it depends on contexts and intonation.

When you express thanks or gratitude to someone for inspiration or show someone much respect for something, you TIP HAT to someone.

How do you sign if you don't want something but still show appreciation? Try "No, thanks" or "no, thank you".

Hopefully, no one feels THANKLESS! Nevertheless, one can be always GRATEFUL for many things.

Response to 'thank you'

When one says 'thank you' to you, now how do you reply back in Deaf ASL culture?

In American hearing culture, people typically say WELCOME or "you're welcome" or other forms such as "my pleasure", "no problem".

In American Deaf culture, signers usually reply in various ways as well, usually less formal (probably as Deaf community is a close-knit community that one knows each other). "Welcome" may be used but thank back is more common. Other possibilities are like "phsaw, no problem", or simply "phsaw", a quick nod with a smile, a quick thumb-up of acknowledgement, and such. They are naturally used in appropriate contexts, not something you can pick any one of them.

If you're uncertain as a hearing learner or a newcomer to Deaf community, probably the safest reply is "welcome".

Printable ASL for THANK-YOU Printable ASL for THANK YOU

First 100 words.

  1. again
  2. also
  3. ask
  4. because
  5. boy
  6. but
  7. can
  8. come
  9. condone
  10. deaf
  11. different
  12. drink
  13. drive
  14. eat
  15. email
  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
  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.