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You are HERE >>  Languages : American Sign Language (ASL) and Signed English (SE)
American Sign Language ( ASL ) for the Deaf  Lesson 3a
By Elaine Ernst Schneider
March 12, 2001, rev. Sept/03

Touch the thumbs and forefingers of both f hands together, palms facing outward. Then make an outward circular motion, ending with the little fingers touching.

The family is an important unit in someone’s life. Special signs indicate familial relationships. There is a sign for family. Then there are signs for mother, father, sister, and brother – even baby. Let’s learn these signs:



How to sign baby in ASL

newest sign for 'sister' in ASL

updated sign for 'brother' using ASL

Now let’s learn the signs has and have. 

"S" Hands for 'HAS' (SE)
"V" hands for 'HAVE' (SE)


Sign Description of Action
baby Cradle an imaginary baby in arms, the right arm lying on top of the underside of the left arm.

brother Use the right hand to touch the forehead with the index finger. Then bring the index fingers of both hands together, palms facing down and fingers facing forward, touching them twice to indicate sameness.

father Place the thumb of right open hand (fingers spread) in middle of  forehead.

has (SE) "S" hands rest on chest to indicate possession.

have (ASL) Place fingertips of both hands, palms bent back toward wrists, on the chest to indicate possession.

have (SE) Place "V" fingers of both hands on the chest to indicate possession.

mother Place the thumb of right open hand (fingers spread) in middle of  chin.

sister Using a right "d" hand, touch the right cheek near the mouth. Then bring the right "d" hand down to meet the left "d" hand, palms down and fingers pointing forward, touching them twice to indicate sameness/similarity.

Continue to Lesson 3b
To review your ASL alphabet, A - L    Click here
To review your ASL alphabet, M - Z   Click here
To review the differences between ASL and SE (Signed English) , click here.

Submitted by:  © Elaine Ernst Schneider  is a freelance writer and a teacher. She has been writing since high school and has published articles, songs, and children's work. Presently, Elaine is a curriculum author for Group Publishing and also writes the City Songs column for ezine.  Send your feedback to Elaine
I was excited to see a web site on teaching sign language.  I am a special ed. teacher, but use my signing to interpret at church.  I am starting a class there to teach members of the church to sign.  As I was looking through your site for ideas, I saw the use of several S.E.E. signs under a section labeled "ASL", such as the sign for the word 'I' and also 'have' and 'had' in Lesson 5.  Although I don't use those signs I think it is good for others learning sign to understand that there are such words available in some sign systems.  However, I do think it is wrong to put them on a page labeled 'ASL', when they are not.  Most people I know who use a Pidgin sign do not use signs for those words.  I was just wondering why they were listed as 'ASL' signs instead of 'SEE' signs.
       Keep up the good work.  There is not enough info. out there for people interested in learning more about the Deaf and their language.  I really enjoyed your "background" paragraphs and the beginning lessons! Sheila

Hi, Sheila.
Thanks for writing. As a Deaf Education teacher, I use both SE and ASL in the classroom. Of course, I use SE in my English classes, hoping to help the students grasp sentence structure that will carry over to their written language. In a science class, I use ASL. Because many of my hearing students who are learning signs are considering careers that could use either system (for example, interpreting vs. teacher) I am trying to create a program at Lesson Tutor that uses both systems. I wrote an explanation of this as one of the ASL lessons. It is found at    In all my classes (hearing sign
classes, that is) I explain that both systems exist for different purposes. I wish I knew how to get people to read that explanation. Maybe I should provide a link to it from the first couple of lessons. Do you think that would help? Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I have four more hearing sign classes starting in September so I will be adding more lessons. I draw my own signs so it takes considerable time and effort to get the lessons done, so about one a week is all I can do. Please be sure to check back in case there is anything you can use. I know I'll be doing a whole unit on animals. Sincerely, Elaine Schneider

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