Learn 20 Sign Language Numbers

Like many people, you may feel compelled to learn American Sign Language (ASL) because you have a loved one who is deaf or hard of hearing. Or maybe you encounter hearing-impaired people on your job or wish to work closely with them in a professional role.

The National Association of the Deaf says you can learn to sign if you have time, patience, and a sense of humor.

First, it helps to set realistic expectations. ASL is a a language unto itself, with its own set of grammar and usage rules. It can take a year or more to learn the signs that will enable you to communicate on a basic level. But as with any new skill, some people pick up on things faster than others. So it's smart to stick with this new challenge, stay positive, and practice when you can.

You can begin by learning the numbers one through 20—a great way to have fun and build your confidence at the same time.

1

Number One

number 1 in sign language

Verywell / Jamie Berke

To make the number one in sign language, hold up your index finger.

2

Number Two

number two in sign language

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To make the number two, put your index and middle fingers up.

3

Number Three

number 3 in ASL

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To make the number three in sign language, put your thumb, index, and middle fingers up.

4

Number Four

number 4 in ASL

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To make the number four, put your four fingers up. Keep your thumb inside your palm.

5

Number Five

number 5 in ASL

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To make the number five in sign language, hold up all five fingers on your hand.

6

Number Six

number 6 in ASL

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To make the number six, open your hand and touch your thumb to your pinky finger.

7

Number Seven

number 7 in ASL

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To make the number seven in sign language, touch your thumb to the finger next to your pinky finger.

8

Number Eight

number 8 in ASL

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To make the number eight, touch your thumb to your middle finger.

9

Number Nine

number 9 in ASL

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To make the number nine in sign language, touch your thumb to your index finger.

10

Number Ten

number 10 in ASL

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To make the number 10, shake your thumb left and right as it points upwards.

11

Number Eleven

number 11 in ASL

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To make the number 11 in sign language, repeatedly flick your index finger off your thumb.

12

Number Twelve

number 12 in ASL

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To make the number 12, repeatedly flick your forefinger and middle fingers off your thumb.

13

Number Thirteen

number 13 in ASL

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To make the number 13 in sign language, repeatedly bend your forefinger and middle fingers while your thumb sticks out.

14

Number Fourteen

number 14 in ASL

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To make the number 14, repeatedly bend your four fingers while keeping your thumb inside your palm.

15

Number Fifteen

number 15 in ASL

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To make the number 15 in sign language, repeatedly bend your four fingers while your thumb sticks out.

16

Number Sixteen

number 16 in ASL

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To make the number 16, make the sign for "six," repeatedly moving it left and right.

17

Number Seventeen

number 17 in ASL

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To make the number 17 in sign language, make the "seven" sign and move it repeatedly from left to right.

18

Number Eighteen

number 18 in ASL

Verywell / Jamie Berke

To make the number 18, make the sign for "eight" and repeatedly move it from left to right.

19

Number Nineteen

number 19 in ASL

Verywell / Jamie Berke

To make the number 19 in sign language, make the sign for "nine" and move it repeatedly from left to right.

20

Number Twenty

number 20 in ASL

Verywell / Jamie Berke

To make the number 20, repeatedly "snap" your index finger and thumb together.

At the end, don't forget to give yourself a thumbs-up sign for a job well-done.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you sign the date?

    First, you sign the month. If it’s five letters or less, fingerspell the whole word. Longer words can be abbreviated to three letters. Then sign the number for the date. Then sign the year.

  • What’s the proper way to give a phone number in ASL?

    To sign a phone number, you use the following structure:

    • For the area code, sign the numbers as X|XX. Sign the first number as a single digit and the next two numbers as a two-digit number.
    • You would then pause and do the next three numbers as X|XX with the first number as a single digit and the next two numbers as a two-digit number.
    • Again  you would pause and sign the last four numbers as XX|XX with each pair as a two-digit number.



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  1. National Association of the Deaf. Learning American Sign Language.