Learn American Sign Language (ASL 1 – Unit 7)

ASL 1 – Unit 7

In this unit, you will learn American Sign Language pronouns and how to index.



Vocabulary

Phrases

Vocabulary

Conversation

B: HOW-many BROTHER SISTER YOU HAVE YOU?
“How many siblings do you have?”

A: I HAVE 2 BROTHER 2 SISTER. ME FIVE-list(on non-dominant hand), FIRST-of-five-list.
“I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I am the oldest child.”

B: WOW!
“Wow!”

A: YOU MARRIED?
“Are you married?”

B: NO, I HAVE BOYFRIEND. YOU MARRIED YOU?
“No, I have a boyfriend. Are you married?”

A: YES, I MARRIED
“Yes, I’m married.”

B: HAVE CHILDREN YOU?
“Do you have any children?”

A: YES, I TWO GIRLS. TWO-list(on non-dominant hand), FIRST-of-two-list NAME fs-MARISSA, SECOND-of-two-list NAME fs-CHELSEA.
“Yes, I have 2 girls. Their names are Marissa and Chelsea.”

B: NICE.
“That’s nice.”

Conversation Explained

I HAVE 2 BROTHER 2 SISTER. ME FIVE-list(on non-dominant hand), FIRST-of-five-list.
“I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I am the oldest child.”

When discussing siblings, you can index them on your non-dominant hand. You will learn American Sign Language pronouns and indexing later in this unit. This is the only way you can really show what your “rank” is among your siblings. Your thumb represents the oldest and your pinkie finger represents the youngest.

YES, I TWO GIRLS. TWO-list(on non-dominant hand), FIRST-of-two-list NAME fs-MARISSA, SECOND-of-two-list NAME fs-CHELSEA.
“Yes, I have 2 girls. Their names are Marissa and Chelsea.”

Indexing on your non-dominant hand is also used to discuss children. Once you index them on one of the fingers on your non-dominant hand, you can keep referring to that finger to discuss that child.

Pronouns and Indexing

Indexing is when you set up a point to refer to a person or object that is or is not present in the signing area. Keep in mind as you learn American Sign Language that indexing is also known as referencing or creating referents.

If the person or object is present, you can just point at him, her, or it to mean “HE/HIM,” “SHE/HER,” or “IT.”

If the person or object is not present, you would first need to identify the person or object. Then, you can “index” the person or object to a point in space. Once you have set up this referent, you can refer back to that same point every time you want to talk about that person or object.

To refer to referents, you would use these types of signs:

  • Personal Pronouns
  • Possessive Pronouns
  • Directional Verbs

For example, if you are talking about Bill and Suzy, you would sign Bill’s name and point to your left. Then, you would sign Suzy’s name and point to your right. When continuing your dialogue about Bill and Suzy, you would point to your left and right whenever you refer to them (you would no longer need to spell out their names).

Personal Pronouns

I’m sure it’s obvious as you learn American Sign Language that personal pronouns are signed by pointing with your index finger toward a person, object, or referent. A referent is used when a person or object is not present.

In the video below, I will demonstrate the various personal pronouns:

Possessive Pronouns

In ASL, personal pronouns can indicate possession simply by changing your handshape from an index finger to a flat hand. The palm of your flat hand would be pointing toward the person or object.

For example, to sign “YOUR,” you would sign “YOU” with a flat hand, fingertips up, and your palm facing toward the person.

In the video below, I will demonstrate the various possessive pronouns:

Numbers 21-30

Watch the video clip below. Mando is going to model the numbers 21-30. Practice signing each number.

Number Practice 7.1

Turn to page 10 in your workbook. In the video below, Mando is going to sign 10 phrases. Write down the numbers signed in each phrase. The first one has been done for you.

When you’re finished, check your answers in the back of the workbook. Go back and review the questions you missed.

Comprehension 7.2

Turn to page 11 in your workbook. This is the video I used in the Number Practice above. In the video below, Mando is going to sign 10 phrases. The phrases each contain 2 numbers and 2 words. Write down the words signed in each phrase. The first one has been done for you.


Deaf Events

You should have been to at least one Deaf event by now. I truly hope you enjoyed your experience. Don’t get too overwhelmed. Your language skills will build quicker than you think as you learn American Sign Language–you just have to practice with real people. I want you to commit to going to another Deaf event in the next week. If you haven’t been to one already, you now need to plan to go to two. Visit https://www.startasl.com/deaf-events to find a Deaf event in your area.

If, for some reason, you are unable to find a Deaf event in your area, there is another way! The Start ASL Tutoring Program gives you the ability to meet and interact one-on-one with a Deaf person online. And even if you can find Deaf events in your area, practicing with one of our Deaf tutors is one of the best things you can do. You will get one-on-one attention and the ability to immerse yourself and practice what you’ve learned at the same time. Check out the The Start ASL Tutoring Program today!

End of Unit 7

You’re doing great! Move on to the next unit to learn American Sign Language directional verbs.

Are You Enjoying the Class? Share Your Thoughts!


Comments

    1. Michelle Jay

      Hi Ashley, This is a great question! You would first say that you had six siblings and then with the 5-handshape on your non-dominant hand, start indexing at your thumb with the oldest sibling and work your way down. When you get to the sixth sibling, you would switch to the 6-handshape. Hope this helps!

  1. Isabelle

    You said that when showing the rank you are of your siblings the thumb represents the oldest and the pinkie represents the youngest. Well I was wondering what if you are the middle child out of 5 kids how would you represent that??

    1. Michelle Jay

      Great question! If your thumb is the oldest and your pinky is the youngest, you would be either your pointer, middle, or ring finger depending on how old you are in relation to your siblings.