Free Online Sign Language Classes

ASL 1 – Unit 9

In this unit of the free online sign language classes, you will be learning about verbs.


Vocabulary

Conversation

Read this outline, and then watch the conversation in action on the video clip. Try to recognize what is being said. Watch the video again until you can follow the conversation without the outline.

B: WHERE YOU WORK WHERE YOU?
“Where do you work?”

A: I WORK fs-DELPHI CLOTHING. I ASSISTANT.
“I work at Delphi clothing. I am an assistant.”

B: YOU LIKE YOUR #JOB YOU?
“Do you like your job?”

A: YES, I WORK COMPUTER PHONES. YOU WHAT-do?
“Yes, I work on the computer and answer phones. What do you do?”

B: I ACCOUNTANT.
“I’m an accountant.”

A: NICE!
“A: Nice.”

Conversation Explained

YOU WHAT-do?
“What do you do?”

“WHAT-do” is a very common wh-word question. It is the lexicalized sign #DO-DO with the wh-word question facial expression. You can use this sign in sentences such as “YESTERDAY YOU WHAT-do?” (“What did you do yesterday?”) or “I SICK. WHAT-do?” (“I’m sick. What should I do?”).

Verbs

You may have noticed that certain verbs are signed differently than others. There are three types of verbs in ASL: plain, directional, and spatial.

  1. Plain Verbs
    With plain verbs, you need to specify the subject and object of the sentence, or they won’t make any sense. (i.e. CAN)
  2. Directional Verbs
    You can indicate the subject and object of the sentence by moving the directional verb between the subject and object of the sentence. The sign would start with the subject and end with the object. These verbs can also specify the number of subjects or objects with the sweep movement that is used with plural pronouns. (i.e. he-GIVE-her)
  3. Spatial/Locative Verbs
    You need to specify the subject and object of the sentence with spatial verbs, but this verb is used to show location. For example, if I sign PUT-up, then that means something is being placed up high. (i.e. PUT-up)

In the video below, Deborah will demonstrate the different types of verbs:

Verb Practice 9.1

Turn to page 13 in your workbook. In the video below, Deborah will sign 10 sentences with verbs. The verbs will either be plain, directional, or spatial. Circle the type of verb used in the sentence. The first one has been done for you.

When you’re finished, check your answers in the back of the workbook. Go back and review the questions you missed. You should also practice signing these verbs. Make sure you understand the different types of verbs before moving on in this unit of the free online sign language class.

State-of-Being Verbs

ASL does not use state-of-being verbs. These are verbs like “am” in sentences like “I am a student.”

You would sign the English sentence, “I am a student” as “ME STUDENT,” “STUDENT ME,” or even, “ME STUDENT ME” while nodding your head. These are all correct ASL sentences.

Reading Assignment

In DJSC! A Student’s Guide to Mastering ASL Grammar, read Chapter 5 (American Sign Language Morphology), Section 5.4 (Verbs). This reading will be a great review of what you’ve learned about verbs as well as introduce some new concepts–some of which will be covered in more detail in ASL 2.

End of Unit 9

YAY! You’re ready to move on to the next unit of the free online sign language class.

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