How To Sign "Off" in Sign Language

The concept of "off" is typically contextual. Just like the word "on," the sign for "off" is often demonstrated through the action of one thing being taken off another, or by showing the spatial relationship between objects.

However, if you're referring to turning something off, such as a light or a machine, there's a specific motion:

Directions for Signing "Turn off" in ASL

  1. Hand Position: Start with a flattened "O" handshape for your dominant hand, which is made by touching the tip of your thumb to the tips of your fingers.
  2. Starting Placement: Hold your dominant hand out in front of you, slightly to the side, with the palm facing downward.
  3. Movement: After signing “O,” make an “F” handshape and move your hand to the right. It’s as if you’re quickly spelling “O-F-F”


If you're trying to show the position of one object in relation to another (like taking a book off a table), you might use the actual objects or representative handshapes and their positions to each other.

Again, ASL heavily relies on visual-spatial representations. Prepositions and similar concepts often rely on the positioning of signs and the use of space.

Learn how to sign "on"

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