Lesson Tutor: ASL/SE Lessons: Opposites

American Sign Language (ASL) and Signed English (SE)
Series 3 Lesson 10: Opposites
By Elaine Ernst Schneider

ASL sign for 'ask'
ASL sign for 'answer'


how to sign the word 'start'


how to sign 'fix'


signing the word 'buy'
signing the word for 'sell'


ASL sign for 'remember'
'forget' in ASL


'cry' in sign language
asl for 'laugh'


asl 'open'
'close' in asl


how to sign 'go' in A.S.L.
'come' in A.S.L.


'dislike' in sign language


Signs Description of Sign Action
answer Move both index fingers form the mouth outward to suggest an answer coming out of the mouth.
ask Place palms together, touching, hands flat, fingers together. Move hands in a backward arc toward the body.
break Pantomine holding a stick as if intending to break it. Snap it in half sharply downwards.
buy Place the right slightly bend hand in the palm of the left upturned hand. Then move the right hand out of the left, as if removing money from it.
close Bring both “B” hands (palms forward, finger closed, and fingertips pointing upward) together.
come Using “c” hands, make circular motions, left hand over right, and then right hand over left, drawing hands in toward the body.
cry Move index fingers down the cheeks alternately as if tracing tear drops.
dislike 1: Touch chest with longest fingers of right hand 2: Swing hand out and away from chest.
enjoy, pleased Use right hand, flat, fingers together. Rub in a circular motion mid-chest.
finish Hold both hands in front of the body (fingers spread apart) with palms facing upward. With a quick movement, flip hands to the outside, making palms face downward.
fix Touch index fingers and thumbs of both hands, holding hands close together at that point. Then move hands alternately forward and back.
forget Wipe the fingers of the open right hand across the forehead left to right, ending in an “a” hand, as if wiping something from the memory.
go “G” hand pushes away from the body in front. “Shoo!”
laugh Using both hands open, fingers spread, start near the corners of the mouth and move hands upward along the jawline several times.
open Touch “B” hands together at the thumbs and index fingers. Then move hands outward to the left and right respectively.
remember Touch the thumb of a right “a” hand to the center of the forehead, while holding a left “a” hand in front of the chest, thumb slightly higher than the rest of the hand. Move the right “a” hand from the forehead to rest on the thumb of the left “a” hand, indicating that information “stored” in the brain was retrieved and brought forth for active use.
sell Move to “and” hands forward twice, as if moving sales merchandise from the counter and to the customer.
start Rest index finger of right hand between the index finger and middle finger of left hand. Rotate the right finger in a left to right movement, as if turning a key.

Continue to ASL Lesson 11, Professions – click here.

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Submitted by:  Elaine Ernst Schneider entered the classroom as a special education teacher in the 1970’s. Since then, she has taught mainstream English Grammar, Literature, music K-12, deaf education, psychology, Algebra, creative writing, social studies, law, and science in both public and private schools. Presently, Elaine is a curriculum author for multiple educational publishers and is the managing editor of Lesson Tutor, a lesson plan website found at https://www.lessontutor.com. 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 Amazon.com. She is currently working on a project with Pearson Prentice Hall as an author of an on-line teacher’s professional development course for the Council for Exceptional Children.

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