ASL University ►

American Sign Language: "play"

The word "play" has several different signs depending on what you mean.
If you mean play as in an "act" or a "drama," see:  See: THEATER / act / play / drama

If you mean "play" as in "playing around" then you can use the version of this sign that shakes "Y" handshapes.

PLAY (as in "play time," "playing,")

Sample sentence: BASKETBALL, YOU LIKE PLAY? (Do you like to play basketball?)

PLAYER:  To sign "player" simply add the "PERSON / AGENT" sign to the sign PLAY.

PARTY:  The sign PLAY happens to be one of the versions of the sign for "party."  There are four common ways to sign "party."  The point I want to make here though is that you should NOT initialize the sign play with a "P" hand.

I've observed quite a few educators of Deaf children using an initialized form of PLAY (with a "T" handshape) for the sign "TOYS."  Which is to say, some of them do the sign for "toys" by signing "play" using "T" handshapes.   I don't really think that is such a good idea.  To me it looks sort of like "double bathroom" or something.

In context, the "Y" handshape version of the sign PLAY can be used to mean "toys" but I and most of my associates just spell "T-O-Y-S."

Want to help support ASL University?  It's easy DONATE (Thanks!)
(You don't need a PayPal account. Just look for the credit card logos and click continue.)

Another way to help is to buy something from the ASLU "Bookstore."

Want even more ASL resources?  Visit the "ASL Training Center!"  (Subscription Extension of ASLU)   CHECK IT OUT >

Bandwidth slow?  Check out "" (a free mirror of less traffic, fast access)   VISIT >


You can learn sign language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University    Dr. William Vicars

back.gif (1674 bytes)