When asking questions the vast majority of the time
the sign "DO" is done simply by raising
your eyebrows. You often don't need to use an actual sign. Instead you
just use the "raised eyebrows" facial expression.
There is a sign that is sometimes written as: #DO
That "#" mark indicates that the sign is a "lexicalized fingerspelling" sign
that morphed from fingerspelling to the extent that it looks more like a
sign and no longer looks much like individualized fingerspelled letters.
This sign is also sometimes written as: "what-DO" Some people
also call it a "loan sign" (as in "borrowed" from fingerspelling) but that
is an old fashioned term. Most of us now use the term "lexicalized
fingerspelling" to refer to fingerspelling that looks like a word.
Some people even refer to this sign as "DO-DO."
Whatever you call it, the sign means: "What are you doing? What did I do? What do we
do?" "Do what?" "Did what?" "What (are you/we) doing?
hands , palms up, "G" hands change into into a "closed "G" handshapes.
Or you can use "D" hands.
(#DO) lexicalized for more information.
Also see: "WHAT-DO"
Note: Don't use the
"WHAT-DO?" sign in
sentences like, "DO YOU WANT ICE-CREAM?"
Instead just raise
your eyebrows and tilt your head forward a bit while signing, "WANT ICE
"DO" / DOING / "I was doing..." / ACTION / activity
If you are describing a situation or telling a story in which you want to
indicate that general action was taking place, then here is a general
version of "DO." General activity can be shown with this sign.
Regarding "DO"-("C"-hands-version), people often ask, "When would you use
The (somewhat snarky) answer is: When no other sign works better.
Sometimes we discuss the doing of actions but not specific actions and thus
we need a good general sign to stick into our sentence to create the meaning
of "doing or being engaged in an action or activity about which we may or
may not know the specifics or the specifics of which are not the point."
Person 1: "I was doing something..."
Person 2: "What? What were you doing?"
Person 1: "I don't remember, that's not the point, while I was doing
whatever and Bob texted me that Jane was in the ER."
DO / ACTION
Here is a variation of the sign DO. This sign can also mean
This variation uses a side to side motion.
Interestingly enough, I often see the sign "DID." This sign is obviously an
English spillover, but the fact is that many ASL signers use this bit of
lexicalized fingerspelling from time to time. Notice how the pinkie comes up
but the index finger doesn't come down (for the letter "i"). I don't
recommend you use this in your ASL classes, but if you plan on hanging out
with any Deaf people, it is a nifty little sign of which to be aware.
See animation: "did"
Remember, most of