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American Sign Language: "he / she / it"


In ASL to indicate HE, SHE, or IT, you just point at the person or thing to which you are referring.
If the person has exited the area, then you point to where the person was recently.
If the person hasn't been in the area then you pick a vacant spot off to the right (if you are right handed, or off to the left if you are left handed) and point into the air in that direction.  Then each time you point in that direction for the duration of that conversation it will refer to "HE / HIM or SHE / HER"

Note: You can use your "eye gaze" to help identify the person you are talking about.
It is common to glance over toward the person to whom you are referring.


In a message dated 11/27/2006 9:35:59 PM Pacific Standard Time, roypugh@___________.edu writes:
Dr. Vicars,

Hi, my brother and I have been learning a lot from your website. There are many questions that we have but one that is pertinent. The sign for
"he" or "she" is simple; you just point to who you are talking about. But what if you are talking about someone who isn't in the room?
Example: Someone has just left the room.
Me: Who was he?

In that sentence, how do I sign "he?"

And one more quick question. How do I show possession with pronouns such
as: yours, his, hers, mine, their's, etc?

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and your work on the website.

Sincerely,
Nathan Pugh
Nathan,
In your first example: (Someone has just left the room.)
Me: Who was he?
The concept of "he" would be signed by pointing toward the door through which "he" exited.
 
Your second question: How do I show possession with pronouns such as: yours, his, hers, mine, theirs, etc.?
Answer: You point your palm toward the referent.   For example:  "YOUR or YOURS" is indicated by pointing your palm at a person.  The sign looks similar to that of a police officer signing "stop" while directing traffic.
To sign HIS/HERS/ITS you would do the same sign except you would do it off to the side.
The sign THEIRS if referring to a specific group would be signed the same as HIS/HERS/ITS.
The sign THEIRS if referring to two or more separate individuals would use the same handshape and palm orientation but the movement would start slightly off to the side and then sweep further to the side. The "sweeping" movement would add plurality to the sign.

Have a nice day.
Cordially,
Dr. Bill

For more discussion on this, see:
PRONOUNS
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