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How To Learn Sign Language

ASL Grammar: How to ask a Yes or No Question in American Sign Language


Hi! For yes/no questions, the sentence
structure is the same as for a sentence where I’m telling or commanding
you. The difference for a question is that the eyebrows are raised! For example:
“You’re a student.” The sentence, I’m telling you: the signs YOU STUDENT.
YOU STUDENT, YOU. Now the question: “Are you a student?” YOU STUDENT, YOU? See the
difference? If you know casual English has a similar tendency, where if I’m
telling you: “you’re a student”, my voice is flat. If it’s a question: “You’re a student?”,
the voice goes up. So you can imagine the difference there. In ASL it has something
similar where the eyebrows go up to show it’s a question. In English the
structures “Are you…” or “Do you…”. we don’t use those in ASL. Simply YOU STUDENT?, or
maybe “The girl there, she’s a student?” Here are more examples:
“Your sister, is she happy?” Remember, eyebrows up: SHE HAPPY, SHE?
Another example: “Do you like chocolate?” Notice the difference: I’m telling you:
“Chocolate, I like” versus “Chocolate you like?” You can maybe about second “YOU”.
I tend to use the second YOU pronoun. CHOCOLATE, YOU LIKE, YOU? Another example… HELP, and that’s the sign HELP, it’s directional depending on who is where.
Plus, if it’s a question like “please” or “do you mind”,
eyebrows must go up. So the difference between: HELP-me, “Help me” — I’m telling you
or ordering you to help me. And the difference between that and HELP-me?
“Will you help me?” or maybe “Do you mind helping me?” And if I’m offering: “Can I help you?” “May I help you?” So it’s to HELP-you.
“Can I help you?” And the response is either YES or NO. Another one: JOIN. “I join you.”
And if my eyebrows are flat, I’m joining you — I’m telling you that I’m going! I am
joining. But if maybe you’re going out, and I’m curious.. want to come… then:
“May I join you?” Eyebrows are up, and you lean forward: “Can I join you?” Okay, so again let’s review:
For yes or no questions, means the response is “yes” or “no” or “maybe” —
any of those three — the question, you have to have eyebrows raised, plus you should
be leaning forward and the last sign you can hold for a second. Okay? Last example: “Are you subscribed already??” Okay, if you haven’t yet subscribed, please click the
button! And that means that you’ll see when I upload new videos. Alright, thank
you for watching, and I’ll see you again soon. Bye!

16 Replies to “ASL Grammar: How to ask a Yes or No Question in American Sign Language”

  • Thank you so much for all your videos! It is so nice of you to share your knowledge of ASL with the YouTube community! Thank you so much! ❤❤❤

  • Hello Meredith's

    I hope to get to signs beginning so simple English sign language and I glad to you simple signs simple so you I am not student and adult went work full time and I would have to get learning sign because you are so special teacher future so you have busy so I glad imagine happy time worth Meredith I say wonderful honey Meredith take care

    Orestes Delgado Jr

  • How about if you refer to yourself in a question but are talking with someone about you? Do you point to them or yourself at the end in question?

    Example. You like me you? Or you like me points to self?

  • I'm also trying to learn expresive and receptive skills when learning words that have comma's after them. Such as a sentence like: Do you like coffee, tea, watermelon, eggs, (without and) water?

    Not imterpreted like do you like coffee tea egg watermelon water ( it might look like I'm saying they're mixed together not seperate such as coffeeteaeggwatermelon.
    Another example. Do you have honey, and milk, not (honey milk) not mixed seperate as the word and seperates things asl doesnt use it so i get confused how to ask for things i want seperate.
    Honey milk
    Almond milk vs almonds and milk
    Cocolate and cupcakes vs chocolate cupcakes. How to i make groups seperate without "and"

  • I work at a zoo and would love if you could make a video with phrases that would be helpful. I have been practicing my animals and alphabet, but I would love to learn some useful phrases in or around a zoo!

  • Thank you very much for taking the time to upload lessons about ASL, so the people can learn about it. I’m a true believer that ASL should be teach in every classroom around the world. At least the basics. I mean we are learning about stuff we barely use. Again. Thank you so much.

  • So I’m here because I’m wondering about another type of question, “how [are] you?” What is the body language to go with this question?

  • Can’t wait to start my college courses for this career 🤩. Always have been a fan of the American Sign Language 🤟 since being 8or10.. ❤️your vids ❗️

  • I love your channel! It's awesome! I would love to learn more signs about food,cause I work at the pizza restaurant and the video you have about food don't have subtitles and it's hard for me to understand things sometimes
    I want to learn about pizza/salad toppings,sauces and drinks like beer,wine etc
    And other food,veggies
    Or how would they like their pizza cooked and things like that:)
    Thank you so much for for this channel! 💛🧡❤️

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