ADP-ribosylation is essential for cell function, yet there is a dearth of methods for detecting this post-translational modification in cells. Here, we describe a clickable aminooxy alkyne (AO-alkyne) probe that can detect cellular ADP-ribosylation on acidic amino acids following Cu-catalyzed conjugation to an azide-containing reporter. Using AO-alkyne, we show that PARP10 and PARP11 are auto-ADP-ribosylated in cells. We also demonstrate that AO-alkyne can be used to monitor stimulus-induced ADP-ribosylation in cells. Functional studies using AO-alkyne support a previously unknown mechanism for ADP-ribosylation on acidic amino acids, wherein a glutamate or aspartate at the initial C1'-position of ADP-ribose transfers to the C2' position. This new mechanism for ADP-ribosylation has important implications for how glutamyl/aspartyl-ADP-ribose is recognized by proteins in cells.