How to Sign "Don't" in Sign Language

Mastering the sign for "don't" is essential for effective communication in both everyday interactions and more formal discussions within the Deaf community. This sign empowers individuals to express negation or prohibition clearly and concisely, ensuring mutual understanding and respect in conversations.

Signing “Don’t”

  1. Hand shape: Form your dominant hand in an extended  “A” handshape with the thumb extended
  2. Hand location: Bring your dominant hand to under your chin, with the outside of your thumb facing outward
  3. Movement: Starting from under your chin, bring your thumb outward
  4. Facial expression: Ensure your face matches the sentiment of disapproval. Sometimes, you might have a neutral face, depending on the situation.


While in the English language, “don’t” is a contraction, in ASL, “DON'T” is its own sign that doesn't bear resemblance to "DO."

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