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DAY: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "day"


DAY (version 1)
The sign for "day" is made by holding your non-dominant arm (the left arm for most people) in front of you, palm down, pointing right.  Your non-dominant hand can be in either a "flat handshape" or an "index finger handshape."  Your dominant hand (the right hand for most people) can be either an "index finger" or a "flat hand." (I don't recommend a "D" hand, that is Signed English.) Rest your dominant elbow on the back of the non-dominant hand. Your dominant arm should point up. Move your dominant arm across your body, the hand tracing an arc while keeping the dominant elbow on or very near the back of the non-dominant hand. Note: advanced signers often do very abbreviated versions of signs.  For example, they may do the sign for day with the tips of the fingers of non-dominant hand touching the midpoint of the dominant forearm instead of resting the dominant elbow on the back of the non-dominant hand. Also, you might see a different palm orientation on the dominant hand.



If you see the movement start horizontal and move upward it is not wrong.  Lots of people do the sign that way:


When signing "DAY" you can use a "flat hand" (which is also sometimes called a "b-palm") instead of an index finger.

DAY (flat hand version)



Sample sentence: "One week has how many days?"


There are many variations for the sign "DAY." For example: "ALL-DAY"
To sign "all-day," start the flat-handed version of DAY with your dominant "flat hand" further to the right (if you are right handed) prior to moving it. 


For an example of "all-DAY" and other variations of DAY, see: "DAY (advanced discussion)"



Also see: TODAY










Question:  A student asks: "I was taught to do day with a D, and then the movement you do, is that wrong?"

Using the "D" hand for a sign like "day" is considered (by many) to be more toward "signed English" than "ASL."

Using the "D" hand for "DAY" is a minor signed English intrusion if / when you are attempting to sign ASL.

You might even occasionally see Deaf signers use the "D" hand but most of us in everyday life tend to use the index finger for "day."

Of possible interest, for the sign "all-DAY" we use a flat hand and a bit larger movement.

You may wish to think of the situation as whether you'd rather have a Deaf (or "fluent ASL) signing accent or a Hearing (Signed English) signing accent. If you want to sign more like a native / fluent Deaf person, use a '1" hand instead of the "D" hand.

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