How to Make Plans by Using American Sign Language

Planning a gathering with friends who use American Sign Language (ASL) has never been so easy. The signs in the following table can help get you on your way.

Keep these signing tips in mind:

  • Appointment and reservation are the same sign, so if you can sign one, you’ve got the other. Write down and record also share the same sign.

  • SCHEDULE looks like the grid on a calendar page.

  • SOCIALIZE is one thumb circling the other.

  • To cancel an appointment or date, the sign involves making an X on your passive hand.

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The following sentences are sure to help you make or break plans:

  • English: Write it down on your calendar.

    Sign: YOUR CALENDAR — WRITE DOWN

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  • English: We have reservations.

    Sign: RESERVATIONS — HAVE US

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  • English: What is your schedule for tomorrow?

    Sign: TOMORROW — YOUR SCHEDULE — WHAT Q

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  • English: The event was cancelled.

    Sign: FINISH — EVENT — CANCEL

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When you need to sign what time something occurs, or if you’re giving the time, all you do is touch your wrist where you normally wear your watch and then sign the number. For example, if you want to tell someone that it’s 2:00, touch your wrist and then sign the number 2.

To distinguish between a.m. and p.m., you sign morning, afternoon, or night after the number. An exception to that rule: For midnight, you simply sign the number 12 straight down; don’t touch your wrist. You sign 12 noon straight up.

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