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Learn American Sign Language: ASL Numbers 11-20

written by: Heather Marie Kosur • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 1/17/2012

The following article describes the signs for the numbers eleven through twenty in American Sign Language that signers who use ASL as their primary means of communication must learn. Each number includes a description of the sign in English as well as the SignWriting for the sign.

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    American Sign Language Numbers

    American Sign Language includes signs for numerals. This article describes in English the signs for the numbers eleven through twenty in ASL as well as includes the SignWriting orthography for each number and photo examples of the sign. The ASL signs for numbers should be signed with the dominant hand. The palm generally faces away from the signer.

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    Eleven (11)

    Begin by forming the hand into a fist with the index finger tucked under the thumb. Lift the index finger from under the thumb, and point the index finger straight up. Lower the index finger under the thumb again. Then lift and point the index finger straight up again.

    SignWriting Eleven ASL Eleven Position 1 ASL Eleven Position 2 

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    Twelve (12)

    Begin by forming the hand into a fist with the index and middle fingers tucked under the thumb. Lift the index and middle fingers from under the thumb, and point the index and middle fingers straight up. Lower the index and middle fingers under the thumb again. Then lift and point the index and middle fingers straight up again.

    SignWriting Twelve ASL Twelve Position 1 ASL Twelve Position 2 

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    Thirteen (13)

    Begin by forming the hand with the thumb held out and the index and middle fingers pointed straight and held together. Then lower the fingers down to touch the thumb. Then raise the fingers straight again. Finally lower the fingers down to touch the thumb again.

    SignWriting Thirteen ASL Thirteen Position 1 ASL Thirteen Position 2 

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    Fourteen (14)

    Begin by forming the hand with the four fingers pointed straight up and held together. Fold the thumb onto the palm of the hand. Fold the fingers down. Then raise the fingers straight. Then fold the fingers down again.

    SignWriting Fourteen ASL Fourteen Position 1 ASL Fourteen Position 2 

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    Fifteen (15)

    Begin by forming the hand with the four fingers pointed straight up and held together and with the thumb held out. Fold the fingers and thumb in halfway to the palm. Then open the hand again. Then fold the fingers and thumb in halfway to the palm.

    SignWriting Fifteen ASL Fifteen Position 1 ASL Fifteen Position 2 

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    Sixteen (16)

    Form the hand into the number 6 with the index, middle, and ring fingers pointed straight up and the pinky finger folded down with the tip of the pinky finger touching the tip of the thumb. Then twist the wrist forward twice.

    SignWriting Sixteen ASL Sixteen Position 1 ASL Sixteen Position 2 

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    Seventeen (17)

    Form the hand into the number 7 with the pinky, middle and index fingers pointed straight up and the ring finger folded down with the tip of the ring finger touching the tip of the thumb. Then twist the wrist forward twice.

    SignWriting Seventeen ASL Seventeen Position 1 ASL Seventeen Position 2 

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    Eighteen (18)

    Form the hand into the number 8 with the pinky, ring, and index fingers pointed straight up and the middle finger folded down with the tip of the ring finger touching the tip of the thumb. Then twist the wrist forward twice.

    SignWriting Eighteen ASL Eighteen Position 1 ASL Eighteen Position 2 

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    Nineteen (19)

    Form the hand into the number 9 with the pink, ring, and middle fingers pointed straight up and the index finger folded down with the tip of the index finger touching the tip of the thumb. Then twist the wrist forward twice.

    SignWriting Nineteen ASL Nineteen Position 1 ASL Nineteen Position 2 

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    Twenty (20)

    Begin by form the letter Q of the sign language alphabet with the finger tips pointed forward. Then tap the index finger and thumb together twice.

    SignWriting Twenty ASL Twenty Position 1 ASL Twenty Position 2 

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    Printable Downloads

    The accompanying printable vocabulary sheet of numbers in American Sign Language is available for download at ASL Numbers 11-20 Vocabulary Sheet and the accompanying printable flashcards at Sign Language Flashcards: American Sign Language Numbers 11-20.

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References

American Sign Language: Numbers

This series of American Sign Language articles describes the signs for the numerals in ASL as well as provides the number in SignWriting and images of the sign.
  1. Learn American Sign Language: ASL Numbers 0-10
  2. Learn American Sign Language: ASL Numbers 11-20
  3. Learn American Sign Language: ASL Higher Numbers