In this unit sample of our free sign language lesson, you will be learning about pluralization.
In English, nouns become plural with the “-s” or “-es” suffix. However, ASL does not have a sign for these English suffixes and it’s not always necessary.
For example, for the sentence, “How many cars do you have?” you would sign “HOW-MANY CAR YOU HAVE YOU?” The plural doesn’t matter.
However, if you want to emphasize a plural for sentences like, “I have two cars,” you have a few different options:
- Use repetition. For example, you would sign the word CANCEL a couple times to mean “cancellations.”
- Add a number to the sign. For example, signing “MAN FIVE” to mean “five men.”
- Use numeral incorporation. For example, signing WEEK with the 2-handshape to mean “two weeks.”
You can also do this for signs like MONTH, YEAR, HOUR, etc.
- Add a quantifier sign like FEW, MANY, SOME, BOTH, etc. For example, signing “MAN MANY” to mean “many men.”
- Add a plural classifier. For example, signing MAN then the classifier for HORDES-OF to mean “hordes of men.”
- Use plural pronouns. For example, WE, ALL-of-YOU, THEY, etc.
You can watch examples of pluralization in our full course.
You can complete this quiz in our full course.
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