ASL sign for ILY (I LOVE YOU)


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Used to express "I Love You" in different contexts. The ILY handshape is a combination of the three fingerspelled letters: I+L+Y (I Love You).

It is used to, often informally, express "I love you" among family members, as well as sometimes among very close friends, whenever appropriate. It can be used at parting, or used as a different meaning in contexts.

Variation of the movement. It is also used in Deaf Ameslan culture as farewell with love between loved and close ones.

Also see I LOVE YOU, LOVE-YA.


Story and more explanation on ILY.

Printable ASL for ILY
ASL written for I-LOVE-YOU

Written ASL digit for "I-LOVE-YOU" contributed by the ASLwrite community, 2018.

Deaf Humor

What a fun coincidence.

ILY traffic light
Image posted on FB (Feb. 15, 2019) by Michael Baker who found this near his home in Bernalillo in New Mexico, USA. No photoshop.

"Sometimes burnt LEDs can lead to something even better! [ILY icon] :D" -- Joseph Wheeler (Feb. 15, 2019, FB).

Phonological acquisition

Study how an infant acquires the ASL words LOVE and ILY in a timeless time-lapse video of phonological and language development from birth to age 5. <3 <3

This video shows how the baby/child develops the handshape ILY from infant to child, just like a vocally-speaking child learns how to pronounce a certain syllable from birth to child.

Remember that infants (regardless of ASL or English or any other languages regardless of the modalities) begin to acquire a concept of pronouns at about 18 months and understand how to use pronouns at about age 24 months. It's interesting to capture some moments of using pronouns in the language development in the video.

Language is amodal, meaning the brain has its own timeline, regardless of the modality -- no difference of languages between signing and speech modalities.

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