FAQ: How do I learn ASL syntax? What is the correct sign order to use when signing?

ASL is its own language with its own syntax. ASL sign order is not the same as English word order.

In terms of learning ASL syntax, probably the best thing to do (besides lots of practice signing in-person with native signers) is to look at many examples of fully signed sentences or phrases and the more you expose yourself to good examples, the more comfortable you will become with signing in ASL syntax.

We have full videos of example sentences in ASL syntax listed on many of our sign pages, but another good place to start is our sentences tab on the website. We have hundreds of examples of fully signed ASL sentences. If you are just starting, you may start with the sentences in the “Conversational Sentences” section on that page, and as you get more comfortable, check out the other categories of sentences - for example the “Deaf Culture” section of sentences has a lot of sentences that are longer and more complex.

We also offer one-on-one tutoring sessions. Sometimes people will take tutoring sessions to help them improve while taking a class, and others take tutoring sessions to practice signing and improve their signing communication skills or to improve a specific aspect of their signing, like fingerspelling, etc.

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