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American Sign Language: "on"


The sign for "on" depends on your meaning.

Most of the time you do NOT need to use the "on" sign. 
For example, to sign "The party will be on Tuesday" you would sign PARTY with your brows up, and then "TUESDAY" with an affirming nod.  Thus, in ASL, you would not need to use the sign "ON."
 



The general sign for on:

 


This is generally used as a preposition. "That was on the other thing."

I don't use the "ON" sign much in everyday conversation.  I see it occasionally when my friends are telling their children to get their shoes "on." (When it is time to go out to play.)  Any time you are considering using the sign "ON," you ought to ask yourself, "Is there a more appropriate way to express this concept?" 

Take a look at some of the other ways this can be signed...

ON:  "flipping a switch" -- as in "turn on the light"


ON:  "turning a knob" -- as in "turn on the TV," or turn on anything that turns on with a knob.  For example, this might be used in a sentence having to do with turning on a microwave that uses a "timer dial."


"ON" as in "lights on."

Note:  You can reverse this sign to mean "lights off."



Earlier I talked about how you would do a phase like, "on Tuesday." It is fairly common to express the concept of "on" by identifying whether you are talking about days "this" week or "next-WEEK."  For example you can sign "THIS TUESDAY." 
 
THIS:


Some people might tell you that it is better to sign "NOW" TUESDAY (as in, "the current Tuesday" than use the pointing gesture of "THIS" TUESDAY.  While I agree with the general concept of using NOW for phases such as "NOW (this) AFTERNOON," I think that the sheer number of people who actually use the sign THIS when referring to days of the week is validation that it is okay to sign "THIS TUESDAY" when you mean "on Tuesday."  However I would not sign "THIS" when referring to the current morning, afternoon, or evening.  For those signs I would use the sign NOW.




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