English Vocabulary Lesson: Sign Vs. Signature

Michael Uncategorized

Can I have your signature? Please sign here.

When I applied for my driver’s license, I needed to fill out the application form. Then, I brought the document to the window. The clerk said he needed my signature at the bottom of the form. So I had to sign my name. Then he gave me a second document to sign. I didn’t realize they needed my signature in so many places!

The words sign and signature can be confusing sometimes. Do you know how to use these words? Read the paragraph above once more and then check today’s lesson:

Signature is a noun, and generally means your name written in cursive script. You can write your signature, give your signature, or put your signature, like this:

  • Please write your signature on this form.
  • Can you please give me your signature here?
  • You need to put your signature on every document you approve in this office.

Sign is used a verb and means to write your signature. We general use sign with name, as in sign your name. Here are some examples:

  • Please sign this form.
  • Can you please sign your name here?
  • You need to sign ever document you approve in this office.

We also have a slang way of asking for your signature. Someone might ask you, “Can I have your John Hancock?” John Hancock was one of the founding fathers of the USA, and was famous for his large, signature. So your “John Hancock” is your signature!

So, sign is the verb and signature is the noun. Keep in mind too that as a noun, sign means placard or public notice, like a stop sign, or road sign, or a sign in a shop window.

Have you signed something important recently? Why not leave a comment below and let us know. Thanks for studying today!

How about studying English with me? I am available for private English lessons in New York, and online via Skype. Also, check out my newest book & audio podcasts, 109 Phrasal Verbs