How to say “I love you” in Sign Language

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I-L-Y is a powerful sign!

The sign for I love you (I-L-Y) became a strong symbol in the Deaf Community and has since been spreading into the mainstream. It is not only being used to show a strong identification with the Deaf Community, but you can also utilize it in everyday conversations. You can even say goodbye or thank you with the I-L-Y sign!

I love you in sign language
Bye, I love you!

If you want to express romantic love to someone, you would typically use a different expression as shown in the video below:

I love you (romantic affection)

Frequently asked questions

What is the origin of the sign I-L-Y?

The sign for “I love you” is a combination of the fingerspelled letter I, L and Y. Your thumb and index finger together form an L, while your little finger forms an I. In addition, your thumb and little finger is expressing a Y. So if you combine all three handshapes, you get I-L-Y for I love you. Fascinating, isn’t it?

Do I use my left or my right hand for signing I love you?

For signs like I love you that use only one hand, you would typically use the hand you also write with. So in case you are left-handed, you would normally use your left hand for signing “I love you”.

Additional useful sentences using I love you

I love you (stronger emphasize)
I love you all!
I really like the sign I-L-Y

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