how to sign forget in asl


How to Sign Forget in ASL

American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language used by approximately 1 million deaf individuals in the United States. Communication in ASL involves hand gestures, body movements, and facial expressions. Building proficiency in ASL requires not only learning how to sign individual words but also understanding contextual nuances and building vocabulary with practice. In this article, we will focus on how to sign forget in ASL.


The ability to communicate effectively with deaf individuals contributes towards an inclusive society where everyone can interact and engage with one another without barriers created by disabilities. Learning how to sign forget is essential for learners who want to build their ASL vocabulary since forgetting is a common occurrence that comes up in conversation frequently.

This article aims to provide a step-by-step guide on how to sign forget in ASL while addressing common misconceptions associated with the sign and contextualizing it through context-based exercises.

Definition of the Sign for Forget in ASL

To sign forget in ASL, you need to use both hands. Start by positioning your dominant hand into an “S” shape with your thumb over your fingers while keeping your palm facing downward. Then, place your other hand next to it perpendicular so that it forms an “X” shape.

After assuming this posture, move both hands upward as if you are pushing something away from you, then shake them briskly back and forth. This technique represents letting go of something or shaking off the past mistake or event that happened in the past.

Visual Demonstration:

[Video demonstration of ‘forget’ sign]

Common Misconceptions about the Sign for Forget

One common misconception among beginners learning how to sign forget is to use only one hand instead of two. Another misconception is not shaking the hands after pushing them upwards.

It is essential to master the proper technique since an incorrect sign may distort the meaning in the conversation. Always remember to use two hands and shake them while moving them upwards as if you are pushing something away from you.

Contextualizing the Sign for Forget through Practice

Communication in ASL involves much more than proper signs. It requires practice and contextualization, which is in many ways similar to language learning.

When contextualizing the sign for forget, explore different ways you can use it in everyday conversations. For example, when having a conversation about your plans for a summer trip, you may sign “I’m going to visit my grandparents in Florida. What did I forget?. This way, you integrate the sign into a real conversation context where forgetting happens regularly.

You can also practice signing forget by having a memorization game where one person shows the other something, then covers it and signs ‘forget’ to see if they can remember what they saw. This type of activity involves using forget in context but also enhances short-term memory.


  • Be creative when utilizing vocabulary words into everyday scenarios
  • Practice with others who can provide instant feedback on accuracy

Tips for Learning How to Sign Forget in ASL

Learning ASL requires patience, perseverance, and consistent practice. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Avoid relying too much on spoken language while practicing ASL.
  • Use both hands when signing.
  • Slow down when learning new signs, and gradually increase your speed.
  • Cross-reference with multiple sources to ensure accurate signing techniques.
  • Join online communities or find a mentor who can offer guidance when learning ASL.

Use Cases: Incorporating Signs for Forget into Daily Conversations

Integrating signs for forget into your daily conversations can make communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing more effective. The application of these signs in everyday settings enhances the flow of communication and promotes inclusivity.

Forgetting something is a common experience, and using signs related to this experience can provide an additional layer of meaning when communicating. For example, when you run into a deaf friend and he asks if you saw a funny meme he sent on social media, you could sign “I don’t remember seeing that.” This context-based usage not only provides clarity but also deepens the understanding between speakers from both sides.

Learning Services: Tools and Experts who can Help You Master ASL

Before selecting any learning service, do research based on user reviews, recommendations, and their areas of expertise.

We recommend exploring reputable web-based learning services like Gallaudet University’s Online Resources for ASL learners offering live virtual classes in ASL signing with certified instructors and many other online resources. You may also seek tutoring services from experienced professionals who offer specialized one-on-one instruction on ASL signing techniques.


  • Find resources recommended by deaf individuals and educators with established credentials.
  • Investigate time commitment, accessibility, and the level of expertise required accordingly.

The Importance of Building a Rich Vocabulary when Learning ASL

Building vocabulary is essential in any language acquisition process. It enables a native speaker or user of a language to express themselves better while facilitating the communication flow between listeners and speakers. However, learning ASL requires special attention to context-based word meanings.

Knowing signs for specific contexts contributes towards accurate interpretation since some words’ meaning varies depending on the situation.


  • Focus on vocabulary lists based on context-specific situations
  • Use sign language dictionaries and guides to deepen understanding of signs

History Lesson: Understanding How ASL Evolved Throughout Time

ASL has an extensive history that dates back to the early 19th century, although some similarities exist between ASL and French Sign Language. American Sign Language’s evolution and use were primarily crafted and influenced by individuals from the deaf community.

In 1864, Gallaudet University became the first liberal arts college for deaf students in the world, serving as a leading institution in advancing deaf education in America. ASL continues to evolve to this day, incorporating innovation from diverse communities and cultures.


The ability to learn and execute ASL signing techniques has significant implications for enhancing communication between individuals with hearing disabilities and their peers. Sign language acquisition requires effort, consistency, and patience.

The sign forget helps facilitate communication in everyday situations where something was forgotten while incorporating it into a conversational context. Remember to practice regularly and find resources or experts who provide guidance when starting out.

7 FAQs About How to Sign “Forget” in ASL

1. What is the sign for “forget” in ASL?

The sign for forget in ASL is made by using the dominant hand to make a fist and placing it on the forehead. Then, move it down and away from the face.

2. Is there a different sign for “forgot”?

No, the sign for “forgot” is the same as the sign for “forget.” However, you can add facial expressions or body language to indicate past tense.

3. Can you show me how to sign “I forget”?

  • First, sign “I.”
  • Then, use the sign for forget by making a fist with your dominant hand and placing it on your forehead. Move it down and away from your face.
  • You can also add an eyebrow raise or head tilt to indicate uncertainty or frustration.

4. How do I use negation when signing “forget”?

  • To sign “don’t forget,” start with the sign for forget and then add a shaking motion with your hand.
  • To sign “never forget,” start with the sign for forget and then cross your arms over your chest.

5. Are there any variations of the sign for “forget”?

Yes, some people may use both hands instead of just one. Others may use a twisting motion with their wrist when moving their hand away from their face.

6. Can you use the sign for “remember” instead of “forget”?

No, using the sign for “remember” instead of “forget” would change the meaning of the sentence. Remember means to keep something in your mind, while forget means to not remember something.

7. When should I use the sign for “forget”?

  • Use the sign for forget when you want to indicate that you cannot remember something
  • Use it when you want to remind someone not to forget about something important
  • Use it when talking about a situation where someone has forgotten something in the past

Remember to practice regularly and watch videos of ASL speakers to improve your signing skills!

keys takeaways

Keys Takeaways on How to Sign “Forget” in ASL

  • Forgetting something is a common experience. It is essential to know how to convey it accurately in ASL.
  • To sign “forget,” use two hands positioned at shoulder level, then flick your fingers away from your head.
  • You can also incorporate facial expression and body language to the sign to convey more meaning.
  • Remember to practice frequently to ensure fluency and naturalness when signing as you gain more experience.

If you ever find yourself unable to remember a word or a name, you can now express it effortlessly with sign language. The keys takeaways provide simple, practical steps for anyone interested in conveying “forget” through American Sign Language (ASL).

The importance of accurately signing ‘forget’ can’t be overstated. It helps create a bridge between people who use different languages, that might have different cultural metaphors about forgetting. Therefore, it’s important to get it right so that everyone understands what you intend.

By following these steps- positioning your hands at shoulder level and flicking your fingers away from your head – fluently conveying “forget” becomes easy peasy. Incorporating facial expressions and body language can add depth of meaning.

The final takeaway is to practice often – this will help improve naturalness, rhythm, and fluency as you gain more confidence and experience stirring up all the gestures that make ASL a magical language of its own.