Basic Words in Sign Language

Top 150 Basic Words in Sign Language

Below are videos of the top 150 basic words in sign language.

These are the words that you should learn first. Learning these words is a great way to build a basic vocabulary foundation before learning American Sign Language. These 150 words were chosen by finding the most important words learned in ASL 1. These are the words that students learn first in the class and are therefore extremely useful to learn–especially if you plan to take an ASL class in the future.

These top 150 words have been organized into 11 categories: Common, People, Questions, School, Home, Family, Time, Food, Colors, Animals, and Descriptions. This should make them easy to find and easier to learn. The more important categories are listed toward the top. These are the signs you will find yourself using the most often. The categories toward the bottom are best for enriching basic conversations. Keep in mind that this list is just a starter and contains only the most common basic signs used in American Sign Language.

And, of course, there is more to American Sign Language than just memorizing vocabulary. ASL has its own grammar, syntax, culture, and history! Don’t forget to check out our free American Sign Language online classes where you can start learning sign language and not just the basic words!

Just click on a video to your left and see the video load to your right. You can also click on the A-B-C links as well as the links under them to explore more of the ASL Dictionary.

Want to learn more?…

The Best ASL Dictionary

American Sign Language Dictionary, Third Edition (Paperback)

This is the dictionary that we own and love. It’s a huge book and explains more than 5,000 signs and has over 8,000 illustrations. You definitely need to have a dictionary like this if you are learning American Sign Language! When you want to look up an obscure word, it’s most likely in here!
New From: $10.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $8.05 USD In Stock


  1. amori perryman

    Thanks for this you never know when you’ll meet a deaf person and i want to be able to speak to them.

  2. Yvonne Vankosky

    Thank you for this valuable information. I have a new friend who I want to have conversations with. I will learn ASL to speak to her!

  3. Lauren Schweissing

    This has really helped me. I’ve been looking for videos but on youtube very many are giving incorrect signs now i just have to choose the word and watch the sign for that word.

  4. KAYIGI Omar

    thank you so much for such a very helpful contribution of rising up deaf education.
    i am an educator in a school for the deaf in Rwanda(Estearn-Africa)

  5. Miss.Gay

    I met my girlfriend when she didnt have hearing aids and i had to lean sign language and this really helped!

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