Mastering Across in Sign Language ASL: A Comprehensive Guide

American Sign Language (ASL) is an intricate and expressive language that plays a vital role in facilitating effective communication within the Deaf community. By learning ASL, we promote inclusivity and gain access to a world filled with connection and understanding. In this blog post, we will explore the topic of an essential sign across in sign language ASL. Understanding this sign will enhance your ability to convey direction and location in ASL conversations, improving your signing proficiency. Let’s explore the intricacies of signing across in ASL.

Across in Sign Language

Step-by-Step Guide to Sign Across in Sign Language ASL

The sign for across in American Sign Language (ASL) involves using both index fingers while each hand is drawn into a fist. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how to form the sign:

  1. Start with your non-dominant hand bent at the elbow, forming a loose fist. Ensure your index finger is pointing straight ahead of you. This initial position sets the foundation for the sign and prepares your non-dominant hand to serve as a reference point for the movement.
  2. With your dominant hand’s index finger, begin by touching the tip of your non-dominant index finger gently. This contact represents the starting point of the “across” movement and signifies the concept of moving from one side to another.
  3. While maintaining contact, move your dominant hand’s index finger forward, away from your non-dominant hand. As you move your finger, imagine tracing a path across a surface or object, indicating the notion of going from one point to another.
  4. Continue this forward movement for approximately half a foot or any desired distance, emphasizing the idea of traveling a short distance across something. The distance covered by your dominant hand’s index finger signifies the span or width of the movement.
  5. Finally, release the contact between your dominant and non-dominant index fingers, completing the sign. This separation signifies the completion of the across motion, symbolizing moving from one side to another.

Common Usages of Across in ASL

The sign for across is commonly used in various situations in American Sign Language (ASL). It is a versatile sign that can be applied in different contexts to convey the concept of movement or position about something else. Here are a few examples to illustrate its usage:

  1. Indicating crossing a street or road: I cautiously walked across the busy intersection, carefully checking for oncoming traffic before making my way to the other side.
  2. Describing moving from one side to another: With graceful wings, the bird elegantly soared across the vast expanse of the sky, effortlessly gliding through the air.
  3. Representing crossing a bridge or a physical barrier: We walked across the narrow bridge that spanned over a rushing river, immersing ourselves in the breathtaking beauty of nature.
  4. Conveying the idea of a journey: It was an emotional experience as we walked across the bridge, retracing our ancestors’ steps on their journey towards freedom.
  5. Explaining spatial relations or position: You’ll find the meeting room just across from the reception desk, accessible through a door on your left.

Tips to Master Across in Sign Language

To improve sign fluency and accuracy in American Sign Language (ASL), consider these tips:

  1. Practice Regularly: Dedicate consistent time to practice signing. Engage in online tutorials, attend ASL classes, or practice with other ASL learners to reinforce signing skills.
  2. Seek Feedback: Interact with the Deaf community or ASL instructors for valuable guidance and to correct signing errors. Their expertise will help refine skills and enhance overall fluency.
  3. Use Visual Resources: Utilize ASL dictionaries, videos, and online resources to expand vocabulary. Learning from native signers will help understand the nuances of ASL and incorporate them into signing.
  4. Immerse Yourself: Surround yourself with ASL learners or Deaf individuals to immerse in the language. Engage in ASL conversations and observe native signers to deepen understanding of ASL’s cultural and linguistic aspects.
  5. Be Patient: Learning any new language takes time and effort. Embrace the learning process, celebrate small victories, and remember that progress is made step by step. Patience and persistence will lead to gradual improvement in signing skills.


What is the sign for across in Sign Language (ASL)?

The sign for ‘across’ involves using both index fingers while each hand is drawn into a fist. The dominant hand’s index finger is moved forward from one side of the non-dominant hand’s index finger, indicating movement across something.

How can I use the sign for across in ASL conversations?

The sign ‘across’ can be used to convey the concept of moving from one side to another, crossing a physical barrier, or indicating direction. It is a versatile sign that can be incorporated into various contexts, making ASL conversations more nuanced and expressive.

How can I improve my American Sign Language (ASL) signing skills?

Regular practice, seeking feedback, utilizing visual resources, immersing in the language, and being patient are effective ways to enhance signing proficiency in ASL. Remember that learning a new language takes time and effort, so keep practicing, and don’t get discouraged. The more you engage with the Deaf community and incorporate ASL into your daily life, the more fluent you will become.


Signing in American Sign Language (ASL) is valuable and enables effective communication in various contexts. By becoming proficient in this sign, you can express movement, position, and the concept of crossing in ASL conversations, enhancing overall fluency. Learn ASL, immerse yourself in its intricacies, and practice continually to expand your knowledge of this beautiful language. Let’s strive for inclusivity and foster effective communication through the power of ASL.

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