November 4, 2019 100

Learn the ASL Alphabet: Common Mistakes + Problem Letters

Learn the ASL Alphabet: Common Mistakes + Problem Letters

We want to make sure you’re not making
these mistakes and you have the letters right as you learn the ASL alphabet.
Well, in this video I show you
the common problem letters
and mistakes and I show you how to easily fix them.
Coming up. [inaudible] Michelle here helping you to build,
strengthen and explode your ASL skills. On this channel I teach a new sign and
tell Pete you practice and share tips and tricks just like this video. So if you’re
new here, please consider subscribing. And remember before you go down
in the description box below, I have a free practice drills sheet that
will help you practice those letters that are giving you trouble so they
don’t give you trouble anymore. So grab that before you head out the first common mistake, holding letters sideways that
are not to be signed sideways. These are the loaders.
I see this mistake happened to the most. I’m going to run through all the mistakes
and then I’m going to show you how to fix them. O, c, D P K and h. Here is the correct way to sign it. The only two letters that go sideways
are g and H. Those are the only two, and make sure your h is facing the
correct direction and not this way. It’s here. Another common mistake I see is mixing
up letters are the most common sets of letters that get mixed up.
D and F get mixed up the most. This is d.
If you turn it sideways, it looks like a lower case d this is f. A great way to remember this is it has
three feathers, f four feathers, okay, three feathers. Another common set
of letters that get mixed up, r, s and t as is like, I’m going to sucker punch you
so you want to make a fist, like you’re actually going
to punch somebody. Now, I don’t know if this is
the proper technique, but this is what I use because I
punched people daily. Just kidding. I don’t t your thumb as a crossing
your fingers just resting on it. I think of this as when you’re playing
that game with little kids and you go, oh, I got your nose. You know that you
remember that there is your team. Remember when you’re doing your tea, you don’t bring your thumb or finger
all the way down. It’s right here. Just right there.
Rusting real lightly. Your thumb is just tucked under and your
index fingers just resting right there on your fingernail. T’s
not down. It’s here. T so s t.
So I’m going to punch you. I’m going to sucker punch you t
I’m going to grab your notes. Uh, that sounds weird. And the next two
letters that get mixed up quite often, our r Q and p Q is g turn down
and P is Kay pointed down. So if you think about it,
if you ha you can see it sideways. This kind of looks like a Pete kind of,
but you’re going to go, well that looks like a Q and
a. That looks like a pea. Also, don’t get caught up on that. So don’t look at the shape of it as a
way to remember it. Just memorize it. Q and p often get mixed up,
but this is Q and this is p. P is k down.
Okay. And you sit down to be common mistake I see is
going the wrong direction. Now this particularly pertains to j and Z. I’ll see Jay like uh, this going out and it’s in.
If you’re lefthanded, your day is still going to go in.
You don’t go out, you don’t make it look like
a j so it’s not out. It’s in. You want to go in,
you bringing it into your body and no, you can also sign Jay like this,
Jay, you can draw it like
this or you can go here. This is particularly good
if you have wrist injuries. Just draw a little j like that andZ , make sure you’re drawing a z in the
air. Now, if you’re a left handed, Jersey’s going to be backwards. Okay, so, but you’re starting from in going out like this won’t bump. Boom. The
last mistake I see is just playing, getting your letters wrong,
not signing them correctly. Here are the most common letters
that are done incorrectly. Gi, remember Gi is here. It’s like you’re
going to pinch somebody. Boom, boom, boom. Okay.
Just like this. G You can also see g like this where
your palms facing forward and your little fingers are going to pinch them
right there. But the bench, um, this is great for serving
your risks. Health. Nick’s
letter is, I see wrong. R M, a, n. N. People will
sign it like this. M and, and please don’t put your fingers down, rest them on your phone
and now you’re like, I’ve seen it in the pictures and the
little drawings are hands are down. They, that is correct. I are down. Mainly why they’re doing that is to
show you what your fingers look like, how many fingers are making that shape.
But here it’s M it’s, I’ve got my thumb across
and I’m arresting them on there. It’s almost horizontal. I
mean, you can do it horizontal, but I’ve got it resting just a little
bit so it slightly curved down. You can have it straight up or
you can have it curved down. Now if you want to be, um, a
faster signer, smoother signer, it’s good to just lightly rest.
It just slightly rested fit. If I walked by you and you’re signing him,
I want to be able to go like this. It lifts up your thing fingers. It’s
just rusting real lightly in as the same. It’s not down here.
It’s resting right there on your thumb. So you might need to bring your thumb
out a little more away from your hand so you can rest it so it’s not tucked
him here. Cramping, heaven it out. Rest those fingers right there
on top of that fingernail in. The next one is [inaudible]. Don’t do
the screaming. He do it right here. Now if you’re in my practice group,
I’ve talked about this. If you have medical reasons to do your
ie like this, do you eat like this? Otherwise get it down here on your
thumb. Now people will say, oh, but this is still an EA,
and technically you’re right. People will see this
and go, oh, it’s an ea, but what if I’m finger spelling
something really rapidly? This can also look like a c.
Bring it down here. Also, this is going to preserve
your finger. Help here. I’ve got to do this sign. I’ve got to
pull these in tight. That hurts my pinkie. If I’m signing, like if I’m finger spelling like 50 words
or if I’m interpreting for four hours or an entire school day,
um, I’m gonna get injuries really quickly
and you could too. Even if you’re like, when I’m not interpreting for
eight hours a day, then you, but you can still get injuries. They might just take a little longer
to get there, preserve your help, bring it down here. Another reason
to do this is you can be faster. This way you can be smoother.
This way it’s easier to go e. N, then e. N it’s a smaller movement. Okay. That’s just one example of two
letters, but it’s much faster this way. Another letter I see done in correctly
all the time and it hurts is Kay, I see it so many times like
this where it’s like I, I’m sorry if you’re English,
I might be flipping you off right now, but it’s the K and they’ve got the
thumb in the middle. I can’t even, oh, it hurts my hand at even try to do that.
I don’t know how you guys do that. Uh, but it’s,
this is how you make a v. Now take your middle
finger and push it forward. So your index fingers pointing at the
ceiling and my middle finger is pointing at a 45 degree angle towards the ceiling,
the corner of the ceiling ahead of me. And then I’m gonna rest my thumb
right here on the knuckle. Kay, not k, k middle finger forward.
So, so here from the side, here is the V and I’m going to push my
middle finger forward and I’m resting my thumb right there in the junction.
So it looks like a capital letter. K right here. I mean, you could imagine
the thumb coming out right here, but it’s like this. Do that. And remember, there’s no judgment here causing you
trouble or maybe you’ll learn them wrong. It’s fine.
I still love you. You’re the best you can do it. So make sure that you’re fixing
it now and not going well. I don’t want to do that right now. I think
this is fine the way it is right now. Fix it now so you’re not
having to backtrack and fix
it later cause you’ll have to fix it later eventually. I remember I have the practice drill
sheet down in the description box for you or over here. Be sure and
grab that. If you have, if any of these letters give you trouble.
Okay. And so this question for
me in the comments below, what’s letter gives you the most trouble
even if it wasn’t featured in this video, which has a lot letter
that gives you the most trouble, are the best conversations happen after
the video with the ASL resell community because y’all are awesome. So be sure and go down there and you can
get some tips and some extra help down in the comments below.
Thank you so much for watching. You are amazing and I really do mean that
you’re awesome. Thank you for watching. If you enjoyed this video, please like and subscribe it so I can
make more videos just like it for you. And if you haven’t already grabbed it, be sure to grab the drill sheet that’s
down in the description box so that you can practice those trouble letters
that are giving you a hard time. And I also have other words in there
that feature the letters that weren’t featured in this video and practice
all 26 letters because I love you. Thank you again for watching. This is Asl Rochelle helping you to be
assigning Ninja that you’ve always wanted to be. I’ll see you next time. Bye Video. You want to make sure that you are not
[inaudible] want to make sure you’re not making the music. Okay. I can. Oh reached for my hand. Oh, at minds me of titanic. I’ll never let go and
he’s dead in the water. Okay. This is Ausl Rochelle helping to be the
ASL Ninja that you’ve always dreamed of being.
I’ll see you next time. Oh Gosh.
So treasurer.

100 Replies to “Learn the ASL Alphabet: Common Mistakes + Problem Letters”

  • Mandogy - Games says:

    Is it fine that I sign mainly with my left hand even though I am right handed?

  • NeverEnding Nate says:

    Physical dictionary's and online dictionary's are telling me different things for signs… which should I trust?

  • Marie Colleen says:

    Hey! Thanks! I thought I was the only sign dyslexic person Hahaa I confuse the M and N when signing quickly too because of my death grip Hahahaa. Can you make a video about ASL for work environment? Like how to politely sign for customers or patients because I have a hard time breaking the ice if someone is nervous…and I am not a pro in sign either I know face expression counts too. Thank youuuuu<3

  • LadyWeasel says:

    D and F!!

  • Valentyr1177 says:

    lol hi i like u u pretty:D

  • Pansynthia2me says:

    I learned the G like number 1 hand side ways 👈 and H two fingers side ways. Is this also correct?

  • Tia - says:

    I and Y hurt my pinky and ring fingers. G/H, P/Q and D/F are the ones that I get mixed up when I'm fingerspelling, but just doing the alphabet, I'm good. You taught me that I was doing the T and K wrong, thanks.

  • aaron000 says:

    The letter combination that gives me the hardest time is going from i to s. I know it should be very simple and looks very simple but my fingers find it very hard.

  • the powerful might of THANOS! says:

    What I always never got:
    R, you cross your me that looks like an X
    X, you curve your index me it looks like an R.

    Thankfully I just have my alphabet memorized.

  • Ruben Trevino says:

    Dear l liass you are so wonderful to learn ASL to teach the hearing people to know our ASL we have been so divided to long Thank you !!!!

  • savage cabbage says:

    drop dead gorgeous and smart

  • Kimberly Holden says:

    The ones that give me the most trouble is G, P, Q X

  • Jamie A says:

    Hey thanks for talking about health and preserving hand health in this vid.
    I find k, p, g and h confusing. This is helpful, thanks!

  • Whatever Idc says:

    She posted this on my birthday last year 👌🏻

  • Jessica Paulin says:

    Q! It's hard to sign for me . Not sure why, my hand just doesn't like it lol

  • Chris Gude says:

    Need to remake this…the rays of light produced by the blinds is super distracting as well as obliterates the picture….hummmm? Curious why no one else has caught this.

  • Aaron Lowe says:

    im not trying to be rude or anything but just curious are you deaf?

  • Jonash Espiritu says:

    One way I use to remember doing p and q is that, the thumb and middle finger in p looks like the letter p and the thumb and middle finger in q looks like the letter q. Don't imagine the index finger forming the part of the letters of p or q

  • Bearz314 says:

    When the YouTuber starts speaking and you can't hear XD

  • ART says:

    I started learning ASL on my own, from the internet. I guy at work is deaf and i hated waving hello… and that was it. I saw and liked your video for two reasons: 1st – because, for me, the hardest thing has been the alphabet. 2nd – i really like your personality.
    Great job!

  • Mariah Larson says:


  • SF ASL Open Stage open-mic-like says:

    Sorry, your 'k' and 'p' are wrong. You should not put your thumb in between your fingers. There are plenty of Deaf folks making dirty jokes about that. If you socialized with us you would see that.

  • Travis White says:

    I have a hard time with K & keep on wondering how an audience can see it in talent shows. How can people see the letter that you're doing with it in front of?

  • Catt Houser says:

    I'm just starting out learning sign language. I am so happy to find your channel. Your tips and training are great. You make learning fun. I tend to be hard on myself when I don't get things right away. You help me relax and remember the joy I have about learning a new language. Thanks sista!!!!

  • Travis White says:

    My dad and I got home +15 minutes ago from Special Olympics basketball practice at Lehi High! I did show the letter K to friends of ours when we were at basketball practice & asked them if they could see it, but they said they couldn't until I had my hand pointing away from my side… So once again; how can people that are sitting +10' in front of you see the K if you have your fingers pointing to them?!

  • Travis White says:

    I'm not trying & meaning to go hard on you! I'm extremely sorry for what I said in the last message I sent to you!!! But I just don't get it… Will you please forgive me for going hard on you?!

  • juan Perez says:

    if you could speak, why the fuck did you do a voice over? wtf.

  • Travis White says:

    I've known the whole alphabet in sign language +8 years, but I used to have my fingers pointing to the left or right… For example: the only thing that I'm worried about is how the families that go to the talent shows that my friends and I could sign up for at Special Needs Mutual like 1 or 2 times a year here in Saratoga Springs, UT could see it if we're doing it in front of us instead of to our sides.

  • Guyana youth talent movement says:

    the letters K and P gives me the creeps to form

  • Struggling Linguist says:

    I had a lot of trouble minding my P's and Q's. I am guilty of having used K, M, N, F and G wrong. Thanks so much for all your explanations. They were well done.

  • April Davis says:

    Oh my goodness your humor actually is reassuring. It helps you to not take yourself so serious. Also your little clarifications on letters are very helpful. Very very cool video

  • Amanda Cedeno says:

    for me i often get confused with m and n
    i struggle doing the k and p

  • Alicia Koepke says:

    I have a lot of trouble doing the Y with my right hand, my ring finger and pinky are inseparable, (though my left hand can do it).

  • Ashley Randolph says:

    W is the one that gives me a hard time. I am RH dominant and I cannot make an appropriate W because of the tendons in my wrist.

  • Benjamin Mueller says:

    You know i love this video because it seemed like you had fun making it. I loved seeing you make yourself laugh. 10/10 Thanks for the tips!

  • bugnutsrunnels says:

    Here's one you probably never even thought about; Brachydactyly. I, and maybe not too many people, have this hereditary quirk of short, stubby thumbs. Normally not a problem, except when fingerspelling! everything is fine until it comes to fingerspelling "T". Then the thumb disappears in-between the index and middle finger, not crowning out to be seen as a "T". Almost like someone who has had part of their thumb chopped off. I normally have slightly dropped my hand forward so the top of my stubby thumb can be seen between my fingers. any other ideas? (hahahah).

  • Shut The Door TV says:

    R gives me so much trouble. It always hurts my fingertips to cross my fingers like that cause I bite my nails

  • Isabella Marrocco says:

    sometimes i mix up t and r

  • Mary Grace Gonzalves says:

    I get stumped at the letters:
    Q, P, R, X (r and x r kind the opposite)

  • 緑色 says:

    so what is the difference between u and h? do you just flip it around? Also, I know this is not related, but what is the difference between f and 9? thnx

  • Betty Wells says:

    I am really curious why X and R aren't switched. It would make more sense!

  • Ket Grace says:

    M's and N's always give me trouble, but I think I make the sign too tight. Gotta loosen up a lot of my signs that I learned from book.

  • PENNY M McGraw says:

    Y and b are the hardest for me

  • Kick Arse says:

    is the O done sideways or front on?

  • Kham Spivey says:

    My fingers are long and flexible, so M, N, and T give me the most problems. So thanks! This really helps. I will say also that I totally agree that the flow is better when those letters aren't exaggerated.

  • Marcus Libero says:

    For the letter D the way I remember it is that the D is 1st b4 F

  • Noah Ayrton says:

    I have it now, but when I was little I used to have trouble with q and x

  • Pam Mondejar says:

    Do you know of a sign for Ñ or ñ? I know the letter is not common in American Language, hence, not in the ASL Alphabet, but I was wondering if you knew of a sign equivalent for that letter. Thanks in advance! And thank you for your videos.

  • Wollie-Ollie says:

    I mix up my x and r because x looks like a pirate hook and pirates say rrrrrr😂

  • Rosalynd M. Rambert says:

    Hi Rochelle, me and my 9-yr old Gabriella are just learning to sign. We LOVE your energy and video. We're having the most problem with the letter K. Well, we're off to practice. Have a fabulous week :)!

  • Koala SugarBear says:

    Thanks for the lesson of k

  • LanguageLearner says:

    I'm so ignorant. Am I supposed to practice the same letter with both hands or do I do it all with the right hand?

  • Kelli says:

    I've picked up on sign language here and there my whole life, but I didn't realize I could use my left hand as my main hand. I am left handed and really work at getting signs correct with my right hand.

  • PENNY M McGraw says:

    Thank you for answering that question only been signing for a few months or learning to sign for a few months but I wanted to hold my hand correctly…

    As I'm getting arthritis in my hands the y shape is really hard for me in the W is rounded

  • Brittany Ryan says:

    I mix up K an P when finger spelling. Going through the alphabet I do them correctly

  • sapphicspice says:

    x and q are the ones that i find more difficult

  • Mindy Michelle says:

    I have trouble with R, because to me the sign you make for X looks more like an R

  • Santiago Morales says:

    Awesome videos, I really appreciate your sense of humor and how you laugh at your own "wrong" conjectures (p and q). Keep it up
    I'm enjoying a ton learning sign language with you.

  • Donald Buckley says:

    Rochelle, thank you. I appreciate your instruction so much.

    Guy point of you: K & P = Kitchen Police G & Q = Gentlemen's Quarterly

    Just saying.

  • Jessica Carmen says:

    How to you finger spell two S ?

  • goner says:

    m is the only letter I'm having troubles with.

  • Cory Williams says:

    I did my k like that with the thumb but thats all i corrected it

  • mkptrsn says:

    G, H, Q give me problems.

  • Greg Peirce says:

    You mentioned the only two letters that are "sideways" are G and H. Wouldn't C and O be considered sideways too? Thank you. Great video!

  • CurlQueen says:

    Did she smoke a pound of crack before this😂😂🙄🤔

  • Deborah Cooper says:

    K and P

  • Harvis isn't a guy says:

    I always confuse D with F

  • Ashamous Prime says:

    So violent! Lol

  • Jazzy J says:

    I also see a and s mixed a lot because the difference is quite subtle, but it's there


    I want to learn ASL because over the summer I made a friend who is deaf at a Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) for kids with disabilities. I got tired of just texting back and forth when we're right next to each other so I asked my cousin for help, he knows ASL and has a cousin who is deaf, he told me that the best way to learn is to learn from someone who is deaf. He was right and showed me how to say "Good morning, and I want to learn sign can you help me? and how are you?" and I plan on learning more but I have Cerebral Palsy and my signing isn't that fast and I have difficulty with some signs because of hand coordination do you have tips that can help?

  • ReefieRare says:

    How do you perfectly sign C then?

  • linda ryholt says:

    Thank you so much for ALL of the FREE stuff you have on your Lovely and well put together website!! It is helping me so much!!

  • Denise Baker says:

    OMG Thank you so much for being here! I am a first year student and this really helped. I didn't even realize I was making the "screaming E" that made me laugh so loud!! OMG that was me! Thank you!!!!

  • Priyank Singh says:

    You are very hot and beautiful. I love your smile.

  • Lauren Riddle says:

    M is the worst for me because i have fat and short fingers

  • Robin S says:

    I always confuse u and v even though v is so obvious. E and f were confusing for the longest time. Now p, k, and q hurt my hand (cramping) although your video has helped tremendously!

  • Olivia Mauracia says:

    Q GIVES ME SOO MANY PROBLEMS for some reason…

  • JoyfulTwinkleToes says:

    M, N, and T – I have really long fingers and they want to do exactly what you described – getting all wrapped and tangled and tucked up.  I also appreciate the reminder to not turn sideways (except g and h 🙂 ) – Thanks for the coaching!~KJ

  • Denise Baker says:

    Can you give me some tips for people with arthritis??? I am an artist and also do hair. I feel like my finger spelling is not only sloppy but its so slow!! I have the worst time with the letters S and T!!!!

  • BornAngelDieDemon says:

    I'm dsylexic so idk if Z id backwards or not when I do it XD

  • Andrew Sicari says:

    Rochelle, Thank you thank you thank you!!! You've been the most helpful and informative ASL online instructor/information content provider of the language for a guy who speaks and needs to learn ASL. (I've got a baby and I'm trying to learn to sign to communicate)

  • JatYoga says:

    I had a big question about "G" and "P" thank you

  • barbara walters says:

    All the letters you mentioned are giving me trouble!

  • Kate Topps says:



    HI ROCHELLE! I am having trouble with the letter E because my right thumb hurts bad! What is your suggestion? thanks 🙂

  • RenzuPlayz says:

    The t was wrong

  • Taylor Baggins says:

    You said you were going to show us how to sign O C D P and K properly, instead of sideways, but then you only covered H and moved on. :/

  • Courtney Schatz says:


  • Kenzo says:

    I'd like to sign the letter " o ". Since G & H are the only letters that are sideways, how would one tell the difference between "c", "e", and "o"?

  • Jessica Marie Merrick says:

    Thank You For This Awesome ASL Alphabet Tips Video 😊

  • Jennifer Coates says:

    Y is the hardest letter for me. I have such a hard time keeping my 3 middle fingers down and my thumb snd pinky up.

  • Linda Eikey says:

    f and d and x

  • Rochelle Barlow says:

    Captions have been added.

  • Tanya Rae Jacobs says:

    X is the bane to my existence!! I always want to make a K. Ij know better but it's like my hand & head don't want to do the same thing lol.

  • Soraida Croes says:

    This video has been right on time, i'm still in my first week of learning ASL and I did exactly the E, M, N and D wrong.

  • J Cornelius says:

    I think you are the greatest!

  • Dan Kinnison says:

    Thank you. This has been extremely helpful.

  • Daniel Bowers says:

    P and Q look like their cursive versions.

  • Becca Moreau says:

    I have a good tip for remembering q…at least it works for me. I think of a duck. your hand is the duck's head, and the two fingers hanging down are the bill. and a duck says…….quack! (which starts with a q)

  • Jessica Niles says:

    Except G and H should be more 45º angled than completely "sideways".
    And I've never heard the thumb placement for T?!
    Perhaps these are particular to New Englanders?!

    Anywho, keeping your dominant hand out of the "dappled"/sun-through-the-blinds light will help your beginner signers immensely!

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