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How to Discuss Meals with American Sign Language

Whether you're going to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with friends who use American Sign Language (ASL), you need to know a few signs about your meal. And don't forget to thank your host or hostess with the appropriate sign!

Signing breakfast-related words and phrases

You sign "breakfast" by signing "morning meal."

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The signs in this table can certainly help at the breakfast bar or at the breakfast table.

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Get going on practicing your early-morning skills with the following examples:

  • English: I want eggs, not cereal.

    Sign: EGGS WANT — CEREAL NOT — ME

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  • English: The orange juice is cold.

    Sign: COLD O-J

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  • English: I’ll have sausage and eggs.

    Sign: SAUSAGE — EGGS — HAVE ME

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Signing words associated with lunch

To sign "lunch," combine "noon" and "meal."

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Doing lunch with friends is at your fingertips. The set of signs in this table can hold you through the afternoon.

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Follow these examples:

  • English: I’m hungry, and it’s time for lunch.

    Sign: NOW TIME — NOON FOOD — HUNGRY ME

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  • English: I’d like a cheeseburger and fries.

    Sign: CHEESEBURGER — FRIES — LIKE ME

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  • English: The soda is cold.

    Sign: SODA — COLD

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  • English: I want a sandwich and salad for lunch.

    Sign: NOON FOOD — SANDWICH — SALAD — WANT ME

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Dinner-related words in Sign language

Because dinner is served in the evening, you sign it as "evening meal."

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Putting the evening meal into conversation is a piece of cake. Follow the signs in this table, and you’ll say a mouthful.

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Here are some dinner-related sentences to give you practice:

  • English: Soup and bread were served.

    Sign: FINISH — SOUP — BREAD — SERVE

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    Finish at the beginning of a sentence adds past tense to the whole sentence. (See Chapter 2 for more information on signing in past tense.)

  • English: Chicken and spaghetti are on special.

    Sign: SPECIAL — WHAT — CHICKEN — SPAGHETTI

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  • English: The steak is rare.

    Sign: STEAK — R-A-R-E

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  • English: I’d like a potato with my fish.

    Sign: MY FISH — POTATO TOGETHER — WANT ME

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Sign language for beverages

Drinks are often a big part of any meal. This table can help you when asking for common beverages.

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Here are some sentences that use beverage signs:

  • English: We need ice.

    Sign: I-C-E — NEED US

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  • English: The water is warm.

    Sign: WATER — WARM

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  • English: I need a glass for my beer.

    Sign: BEER GLASS — NEED ME

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  • English: The coffee is strong.

    Sign: COFFEE — STRONG

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