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American Sign Language: "our"


A student named "Summer" writes:

Hi Dr. Vicars,
Thanks for your site!! I don't have time or money to go to a college class to learn ASL right now because I just had a baby!  But I just feel drawn to learn more about the Deaf Community and the language.  So - anyway - I was wondering if the sign for "our" -- as in, "Who is our teacher?" -- Is it the same sign as "we/us" or if it's the sign for "you and me?" Or is it a completely different sign?
"OUR" is a bit different.  Do the sign "WE" but use a curved hand.  (A curved hand is like a "b" hand but the thumb is along the side and the hand is curved as if scooping up water to take a drink from your hand.)  Touch the thumb side of the curved hand to your upper right chest area and then arch the hand in front of you over to your upper left chest area so that the pinkie side touches your chest.
Now, let me point out something very important.  If you were sitting in a room with other signers waiting for the class to begin and you wanted to know the name of your teacher you would sign: "TEACHER WHO?"  This would be understood as: "Who is the teacher?" Notice how we don't need the sign OUR? You would only need the sign OUR if you had to distinguish between your group's teacher and some other group's teacher.
Dr. Bill

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