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You are HERE >>  Languages : American Sign Language (ASL) and Signed English (SE)
American Sign Language for the Deaf  Lesson 9: "I am... "
By Elaine Ernst Schneider
May 1, 2001

I in American Sign Language
'am' using signed English
I (Signed English)
am (SE)
 am, is, be (ASL)
'sick' in ASL
'sad' sign for ASL
how to sign 'excited' using ASL
'alone' hand sign using American sign language
signing the word wonderful in ASL

Sign Description of Action
am, be, is (ASL) Using the right "d" hand, touch under the chin and then move forward and outward.
am (SE) Touch "a" hand to chin and then straight forward, keeping the tilt of the hand sideways, palm facing to the left.
alone Make a right "d" hand and turn the back of the hand outward. Make one circular rotation, right, forward, left, and then back to the starting position.
excited Using both middle fingers, touch the chest alternately in a forward and upward motion, as if "stirring up" emotions.
fine Touch the thumb of the open right hand (fingers spread) to the center of the chest area.
happy Touch chest with closed fingers of both hands in a forward circular motion, as if "stirring" emotions of joy.
I (ASL) Point to self, mid chest.
I (SE) Touch the "i" hand to the center of the chest.
sad Spread fingers and place hands several inches in front of the face, palms in . Move hands in a downward position to indicate a flow of tears.
sick Middle fingers, both hands, point to head (right) and chest (left) at the same time.
smart Touch a right "d" hand to the forehead; then move the "d" hand outward with a "saluting" motion. The wrist will rotate so that when the sign is finished, the palm faces outward.
tired Place fingertips of bent "c" hands on upper chest. Move hands in a downward motion, pivoting the hands so that each finger touches the chest as the hands rotate into the final position where fingertips point upward, no longer touching the body.
wonderful Hold open hands, palms facing outward, near the sides of the face. Move hands up and forward several times. Note: Some signers use spread fingers; others close the fingers. Either is acceptable.

Continue to Lesson 10: "I can drive to..." 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 both Pearson/Merrell-Prentice Hall and Group Publishing and is the managing editor of Lesson Tutor, a lesson plan website found at Her most recent books, 52 Children's Moments (Synergy Publications) and Taking Hearing Impairment to School (JayJo Books and the Guidance Channel) can be found at
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