LearnSigns 26: Preposition Usage

In the last lesson we talked about how to sign various prepositions. In this lesson we talk about how to use those signs properly. You can get the list of vocabulary from the other lesson.

The main focus of this lesson is the word OF. It is used as an example word on how to handle prepositions and how to think through all words so that you can sign them properly. Your focus should be on the meaning of the words, not just the sign that we assign to the words.

View the episode transcript.

Word Usage

Usage: Why

Why can be a question or a statement. If it is a question then it is signed like you would naturally think of the word why (touch your forehead with fingertips of the dominant hand and pull out to a y). However, when used as a statement it should be signed like reason (the sign for think or think with an R).

Question: “Why did you eat that?” That is a basic question and the word would be signed like normal.

Statement: “Helping others is why we are here.” Think about this statement like this: “Helping others is the purpose or reason we are here.”

Statement: “Do you know why we are here?” Here the word why is not used as a question (the question word is do). The word why is again used as a statement. This sentence could be signed: “Do you know the reason we are here?”

Many of the question words can also be used as statements. They have a different sign when used this way.