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THAT: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "that"


THAT (one-handed version)


That thing right there:


There is a generic sign for THAT which uses two hands.  The (palm down) dominant "Y"-hand is brought down onto the (palm up) palm of the non-dominant flat-hand.

THAT (2-handed non-referential version)

The generic 2-handed version (above) is sometimes used when you want to express the concept of "that" but aren't making a specific reference to something in the local signing area.



The sign THAT can be used to refer to a specific thing in your environment by doing a one-handed version of the sign toward that thing. 

THAT-ONE (specifically)


That one? (question form)

THAT-ONE (the one way over there)





Regarding the lesson: An Interview with Csar Jacobson (09) "Find Out" series: A student asks:
At 34:17 is the sign for THAT the same sign as IMPOSSIBLE? Thanks!

The handshapes, palm orientation, and location of the 2-handed version of the sign THAT and the sign IMPOSSIBLE are generally the same but the sign "impossible" typically uses a double movement accompanied by a slight negative head shake and a skeptical facial expression (non-manual marker) that indicates you don't believe something can be done.

The 2-handed version of the sign "THAT" tends to only use a single movement. Also often (but not always) the sign tends to use a bit of movement in the wrist. This extra movement is particularly common in the 1-handed version of "THAT-ONE!" -- often accompanied by a head-nod.


Also see:



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