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American Sign Language: "would"


A discussion regarding the sign for "WOULD" 


 

In a message dated 10/3/2005 6:42:46 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, romulin101@  writes:
I saw somewhere [on some other website -- not here] that the sign for "would" is a "W" at the chin (palm towards the face) pulled back an inch or two then changed to a "D." Any comments on that? ( I don't see a "would" sign in the ASLU Dictionary section. However, I was thinking that if we can sign "Should" [by signing "have to" twice], then we should be able to sign "would." But what do I know, right?)
Dear Romulin,
The sign you describe is used in Signed English.  It is not used for conversational ASL.
In ASL, the concept of "would" is often expressed indirectly or you use a sign that reflects the intended meaning.

For example suppose you wanted to say:

"I would like to see that movie." 

You would sign: 
"I WANT SEE THAT"
 
"I would like you to come" = "I WANT YOU COME"

"I wouldn't know" =  I DON'T-KNOW

"I wouldn't mind if you..." = "I DON'T-MIND ..."

"I would never go there" = "I WON'T GO (negative head shake)."

"Who would like one?  I would!"  =  "WHO WANT?  "raised hand"

- Dr. Bill
 


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