ASL syntax — that is, sign order — is often difficult to master during the early part of the process of acquiring signing skills. The syntax when signing generally follows this order: object, subject, verb. Time, if applicable, is signed at the beginning of the sentence and often signed again at the end of the sentence. However, ASL syntax is often varied in short sentences. It also varies regionally. For instance, the order could be seen as subject, verb, and object. This is made with modifications, including omitting any “to be” verbs.
Deaf people rarely leave a room without an explanation, such as getting a drink or going to the bathroom. When a deaf person suddenly leaves a room without an explanation, it is considered rude.
These sign orders may sound peculiar to you. Based on this reason alone, you are encouraged to enroll in a sign language course to socialize with members of the Deaf community. This will help the reasons for the syntactical order of ASL to become clear and fall into place. The transition occurs more quickly when you begin to see language instead of hearing language.
Since this transition takes a while, you can continue to work on sharpening your skills at getting your hands under control, recognizing handshapes, maintaining eye contact, and acquiring sign vocabulary.
Speaking of vocabulary, as you've probably guessed, there is much more in store for you. Learning the rules to any language is difficult. The best advice at this point is do not skip chapters. This book has been written with the novice signer in mind. Each chapter builds upon the next. Take your time, set your own pace, and perhaps reread chapters. Stay focused and this book will give you a strong foundation into the beautiful world of ASL.