The sign for "CHAIR/sit" is a classic "noun/verb" pair.
The noun, CHAIR, has a smaller, double movement.
The verb, SIT, has a larger, single movement.
CHAIR: [noun--double movement] (Do the sign "sit" twice.)
This sign is the "verb" form of the sign "CHAIR." You just do the first
half of the sign "CHAIR." One quick motion.
Note: See the "SIT" page for advanced forms of
BENCH: One movement. Modified form of
This sign could also be used to indicate a row of people sitting.
This is a combination of "SIT" and "C" classifier handshapes to show the
shape of a couch.
The sign "SIT" can be modified to show someone squirming in their chair.
This can be used to mean "anxiety" and similar concepts.
A student asked me, "How do you
sign 'long time.'"
My response involved the sign "sit" so I'm including it here:
In general I just do the signs "LONG" and then "TIME." But if you are signing something like, "I sat for a long
time" you would modify the verb SIT with a "temporal inflection." What I
mean by that is...you would do the sign for "SIT"...then you would move both
hands up an inch, forward, down, and back (keeping your hands together--or
shall we say, "keeping your buns on the chair") using a circular motion.
This movement means that you have been "sitting for a long time"--so in that
case you would not need a separate sign for "long time." The concept
of "long time" would be shown by the way you move the sign.