LearnSigns 15: House


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David Peach


Description: Helping you learn American Sign Language in simple easy lessons.

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LearnSigns 15: House

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A simple lesson dealing with vocabulary from the home.

  • Home
  • House
  • Door
  • Window
  • Chair
  • Table
  • Bed
  • Shower
  • Bathe
  • Bathroom
  • Light

The chart to write out the 5 elements is downloadable as a PDF.

The video above is captioned for those needing captioning. Be sure to click on the [CC] logo on the video player to see the captions.

View the episode transcript.

Hello! Welcome to LearnSigns.com lesson number 15.

In this lesson I am going to talk about house words. HOUSE.

This is the word HOME. HOME. And there is kind of the distinction in sign language that there is in spoken English. HOUSE would be the place and then HOME would be more the family. That idea. So, HOUSE you draw the roof and the walls. And then HOME. It is the place where you eat and sleep. That is the way you can think of it. You take all of your fingertips together and and you will show like you are eating. And then you put your hand up here by your temple. Eat and sleep. HOUSE. HOUSE and HOME.


DOOR – You take and have one hand stationary and the other hand opens and closes. DOOR. You could say, “open the DOOR and close the DOOR.”


WINDOW – The same thing. You have one hand is stationary and the other hand shows the WINDOW sliding open and then closed.


CHAIR – This is your two little legs hanging off the edge of the CHAIR. CHAIR. There are variants of this. You could do SOFA. Or LOVE SEAT for two people. CHAIR.

Now, SIT is the same sign. We will talk more about the distinction between nouns and verbs. But when it is the exact same sign then you can distinguish between nouns and verbs by doing the verb once, SIT. It is more like a single action SIT. And then CHAIR has a little bit of a bounce. However, many times you don’t need to make a distinction because where we might say in English, “sit in the CHAIR.” The truth is if you tell somebody to sit and you are pointing to something, then it doesn’t make any sense to say, “in the CHAIR.” You can just say SIT. Right there. And if there is a CHAIR there, then that is where they SIT. If it is a rock, then that is where they SIT. So you don’t have to make that distinction. Now when you do have a noun and a verb that has the same sign then the verb is a single action and the noun has a little bit of a bounce to it.



TABLE – It is just take like your “I Dream of Genie” hands. TABLE. Drop it down. WINDOW is with the palms towards you. WINDOW. And TABLE is with your palms down.


BED – Take your Bs or your mitten hands and you put them side by side like you are sleeping. BED. BED.


SHOWER – Remember this is SUN. You do a circle and then you do the SUN onto yourself. It can also be used for GRACE. We talked about that. GRACE is towards you and SUN would be more out. SUN.

But this is where it kind of pulses in and out. SHOWER SHOWER

BATHE – Take your A-hands and you are going to bathe. You are going to rub. Either alternating or together. BATHE. Either one of those.

BATHROOM – Two signs for BATHROOM. You can do BATHROOM with RR which is RESTROOM. BATHROOM. Or you shake the letter T. BATHROOM


LIGHT – This also has a couple of different signs. You take your…your 8 and you are going to flick the middle finger up. And you are going to do it right at your chin. LIGHT. LIGHT.

That is one sign for it. Another is to take and do a light towards yourself. Kind of like SUN has a circle and goes out. LIGHT is above you and the LIGHT comes down. LIGHT. Or LIGHT. Either one.

Alright, so let’s go through those again.

  • HOME
  • DOOR
  • BED

Now, in lesson number 11 I talked about something, the 5 different elements. Something you could do to write down signs is to list the 5 different elements of shape, location, movement, orientation and non-manual elements like the way you move your mouth, head tilt, shoulder shrug and different things. So those are the 5 different elements. I came across a book this last week that has lists of words and then it had a chart on there of the 5 different elements.

Let me show that to you. I picked this up at a college that I was teaching class at last week. And what the teacher has done and taken and given the word list, the vocabulary list along with spaces to write in the 5 elements of each sign. So what I am going to do is I will have a page made up like this. Not with vocabulary words on there, but with a blank space. And then have this so you can download it at LearnSigns.com/15. And you can get this piece of paper that you can then write in your shape, orientation, location, movement and then the non-manual elements. So that chart I will have available for you at LearnSigns.com/15.

This is LearnSigns.com/15. I want to encourage you to keep learning your vocabulary. In the next couple of lessons we will do more vocabulary and I am going to talk about things that are more sign language grammar related. So we will get into more of the usage of sign language. And I think you will enjoy that.

LearnSigns.com/15. Thank you for watching.

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