Some nouns and verbs in American Sign Language (ASL) share the same handshapes. You distinguish the part of speech by signing the motion once if it’s a verb and twice if it’s a noun. Although most nouns don’t have a verb that looks the same, all but a few nouns need the double motion.

This table includes a few common noun and verb pairs.

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The following examples compare the noun/verb differences:

  • English: Please sit in this chair.

    Sign: THIS CHAIR (point) — PLEASE — SIT

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  • English: I like to fly small planes.

    Sign: SMALL PLANES — FLY — LIKE ME

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