The always updating list of essential small words in American Sign Language.

An ongoing list of useful small words in American Sign Language, to help you string major concepts together during conversations

#asl #signlanguage #dictionary #tutorial #vocabulary #small #connector #words #suggestionswanted

[Need to get caught up on the entire saga of me learning American Sign Language (ASL) and getting involved in the Chicago Deaf community this year? See my blog's main index page for all the entries.]

American Sign Language

Traditional ASL vocabulary classes are great, if you want to spend an entire week talking just about zoo animals, another week talking just about colors, yet another week talking just about food. But as I've been learning ASL myself, I've desperately wished that these classes started off with all the small words that are needed in actual real-time conversations; the words like “but,” “about,” “early” and “different” that help us connect together major concepts and verbs when communicating with others.

So I've decided to maintain a master list here at my blog of such words, which I am in the constant process of updating as I slowly make my way through my ASL 1, 2 and 3 classes myself this year. I've linked each word to an online demonstration of it, most of them over at Bill Vicars', but also sometimes at and I'm always looking for suggestions to add to this list, so please let me know at I hope this list helps all my fellow ASL students do better at conversing out in the real world!

Across Across from After Again All Almost Alongside Also Always And Any Ask

Back Become Believe

Can (as in: “allowed”) Change (verb) Come Correct (as in: “not wrong”)

Different Do you mind if... Don't care Don't like Don't mind Don't understand Don't want Done During

Early Easy Enough Entire Etcetera Excuse me (as in: “I need to get by”) Excuse me (as in: “My apologies”)

Fast Favorite Feel Feel like Few Finally Find Fine Finish Frequently From Front Fun

Get Get along Get in Give Go Good

Happen Happy Hard (as in: “difficult”) Have Have to Help Here Hey How How many How much

If Important In Interesting


Later Leave Like Little Long Look like Lousy Love

Mad Main Make Many Me too Meanwhile Meet More Most Move Must My own Myself

Need Nervous Never New Next to Nice No Not yet Now

Occur Off Often Oh, I see Old On One more Only Ought to Our Ourselves Out Over

Prefer (as in: “My favorite is...”) Prefer (as in: “I would rather...”) Prior to Put


Rather Really Receive Recent Regret Relieved Remember Right now Rude

Sad Same Say Several Short Should Show (reveal) Silly Single Slow Small Smart So-so So? Some Someday Someone Something Sometimes Soon Sorry Sorta Stay Stop Strange Stupid Suppose Sure

Take place Tell Tend to Thank you Thin Thing Think Too much Trouble Type

Ugly Understand Until Use

Wait Want Watch (view) What What kind What time When Where Which While Who Whole Why Will you... With