In English, it’s common to answer questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In Auslan, answering questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ often earmarks you as a beginner. It’s not wrong, exactly, but the custom is to answer with an appropriate verb if possible.
For example, if someone asks me, do I have my toothbrush with me, I would answer ‘HAVE’.
If someone asks, do I have a warm jumper they can borrow, I would sign, ‘DON’T-HAVE, SORRY’.
If someone asks whether I can play the piano, my answer would be ‘CAN’.
If someone asks whether I’m planning to clean the house before my guests arrive, I would answer ‘WILL’.
If they ask if I’d like a cup of tea, I would sign ‘WANT’ or ‘DON’T-WANT’, and add the sign for THANK-YOU.
Watch the video for common answers to questions:
* don’t have
* don’t want
You can also answer with other words, such as ‘NOT-YET’ or ‘LATER’ or anything that suits the context of the question.