ASL sign for MUST

Video Speed:

Definition: To be obliged to; to be required or compelled to.

ASL Learner Tip: Not to be confused with SHOULD, HAVE-TO.

Related signs: REQUIRED.


English equivalent: My friend lent me 100 dollars and I must pay it back soon.

ASL writing for MUST

Contributed by ASLwrite, 2016 for "must".

ASL writing for VERY MUST

Instead of using one finger, it uses the whole fingers to mean 'very must' or 'must!!!' as sometimes seen in spoken ASL.

Jolanta experimented two different handshapes (the older digit on the left and newer digit on the right) along with the mouth morpheme (intense). Below the digits is the fingerspelled word, "MUUUUST".

Contributed by Jolanta in the ASLwrite community, 2017.

ASL Creative Inflection

Usually used by native/Deaf signers.

Inflection and language play: The meaning of this ASL sign is the same except that it's five times MUST. That is, absolutely must.

Another context in capture (April l2020): Marcus Bryant signed MUST, double-MUST, 5x-MUST when talking about wearing a mask as absolutely required for himself before entering a chain store.

How to use ASL dictionary

Filter words: Enter a keyword in the search box to see a list of available words with the "All" selection. Click on the blue link to look up the word.

Alphabetical letters: It's useful for 1) a single-letter word (such as A, B, etc.) and 2) very short words (e.g. "to", "he", etc.) to narrow down the words and pages in the list. First, enter the first letter in the search box, then select the alphetical letter (and page number if needed), and click on the blue link.

Don't forget to click back to "All" if you search another word.

Add a Word: This dictionary is not exhaustive; ASL signs are constantly added to the dictionary. If you don't find a word/sign, you can send your request via the orange feedback box.

A number of some "Add a Word" words are sometimes received that are *already* available in the dictonary. Users sometimes overlook the words. Double check, check page numbers, check spelling. If a word is requested that is already in the dictonary, explain a meaning (e.g. "as in").

Use the present verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". ASL has its own present/future/past structure in sentences. Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same.

Videos: The first video may be NOT the answer you're looking for. There are several signs for different meanings, contexts, and/or variations. Browsing all the down to the next search box is highly recommended.

Regional variation: Some ASL signs have regional variations across North America. Common variations are included, but specifically local variations are not included. Interact with your local community to learn their variations.

Inflection: Many ASL words, especially verbs, in the dictionary are a "base"; be aware that many of them are grammatically inflectable within ASL sentences.

Contextual meaning: These ASL signs in the dictionary may not mean the same in different contexts and/or ASL sentences. You will see some examples in video sentences.

ASL is very much alive and indefinitely constructable as any spoken language. The best way to use ASL right is to immerse in daily interaction with Ameslan people (ASLers or ASLians).