How to sign Wh-Questions in American Sign Language (ASL)

how to sign wh-questions in american sign language

Wh-Questions are questions that require more than yes or no answers. The wh-questions words are who, where, when, what, which, why, and how. When signing wh-questions in American Sign Language (ASL), you’ll also learn how important it is to use non-manual markers (NMM)!

But wait, what is non-manual markers? NNM consists of various facial expressions and body movements that are added to signs to create meaning. The examples are head nods, head shakes, shoulder shrug, eyebrow raised, and more!

Watch this video to learn how to sign all the Wh-Questions with appropriate NNM. These are a great start to learn ASL and NNM as a beginner.

While asking wh-questions, there are three important NNM to use: 

  • lower your eyebrows
  • lean your head forward
  • hold the last sign in your sentence (which is usually the wh-question word)

If you didn’t notice, we suggest you watch it again and practice in the mirror! If you would like to watch this video at a slower speed, you can! You can do this by clicking the settings on the bottom right of the YouTube video, click “playback speed,” and adjust it.

Are you ready to learn more?!


Start learning ASL now by taking our Start ASL courses to learn this beautiful language! We offer both free ASL 1-3 lessons or online courses. You can start anytime and learn it at your own pace! To find out what is included in our free ASL lessons or online courses, visit here:

Happy signing!


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