FOR in sign language

"What is the sign for the little preposition 'for' in American Sign Language?" Like other prepositions, ASL grammar is much involved that the sign 'for' may be used differently or not used in sentences. If you're a brand new learner, ASL is a complete language of its own. Same true for other different sign languages.

Meaning: Intended to belong to, or be used in connection with.

Pronunciation/articulation: Dominant "1" handshape or index finger is in contact with the temple of the head and the palm orientation faces inward. The forefinger moves outward away from the head in an arc motion where the palm orientation faces out.

Usage examples: "for who/whom?", "You don't want it? I bought it for you yesterday!"

Wh-question

The wh-question glossed as "FOR++" or "FOR-FOR?" with the facial expression (including furrowed eyebrows) is a synonym for "WHY", but it's not synonymous with "Why?". Deaf people used it with a specific meaning in contexts. This single "FOR-FOR" question can function as "What is it for?", "Why?" (depends!).

For beginners or learners, it's safe to use WHY instead. If using it incorrectly in the slightest way, it can convey a different meaning, like inquiring or investigating someone "Why are you (insert here)?" So much nuances in this natural language of the Deaf native signers.

Minimal pairs with "FOR"

Handshape minimal pairs for FOR: DONT-KNOW, SMART.

ASL Rhymes

Dominant-handed handshape rhymes: PAH (SUCCEED), NOT-MIND, CHECK.

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.