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American Sign Language: "years" (advanced discussion)

Also see: YEAR (advanced)
Also see: YEAR-"3 years ago"
Also see: ANNUAL


To pluralize (make more than one) the concept of "year" to become "years" you can use several techniques.


See: Animation:  3 years


People often ask me how to sign "the years."  Meaning?  How do you do a year like 2016?

You can do the years a couple of different ways. I've seen lots of people sign the year 2016 by doing the number 20 and then the number 16. However, food for thought:

I received an advertisement email from GoReact (a Deaf-related business that promote a popular service that is good for ASL instructors to analyze and respond to videos submitted by students).  In their email they had an animated gif of one of their models signing the year 2016. He did the year by showing a palm forward two handshape followed by a zero, then a single twist sixteen.

(Note: I know it is hard to tell the difference but this good looking guy below isn't me.  See the source credit below. If you are this good looking guy and would like your name in the credit, let me know and I'll add it. - Dr. Bill)


Source: (2016, personal correspondence, "Bill, fall semester is fast approaching,!" ASL@, received: 8/10/2016 3:16:14 P.M. PDT)

Here are my observations:

Consider the example of the TWO-ZERO-SIXTEEN version of 2016 as a strong "vote" for using TWO-ZERO as the first two digits of the years 2000 through 2099.  
Does that mean this is the "right way" to sign the years?  I'm going to simply suggest to you that it is one of the right ways to do the years and that it is being used in an advertisement by a strong, popular Deaf-related business and used to thousands of teachers of American Sign Language teachers. Thus this version is certainly "not wrong."

Now, that being said, let me say again: Lots of people sign TWENTY-SIXTEEN (instead of TWO-ZERO-SIXTEEN) as their way of doing the year 2016. It is not worth arguing about.  Ask around your local Deaf and see how they do it.


Also see: YEAR

Also see: YEAR-"3 years ago"
Also see: ANNUAL

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