Language Milestones

By 2 years, a child should:

Receptive (Understanding)
  • Understand more than s/he can say
  • Correctly answer "Yes/No" Questions
  • Point at body parts and familiar objects
  • Respond to pictures of familiar people and objects
  • Have a vocabulary of about 200-300 words
  • Start to use 2- and 3- word phrases
  • Speak in order to request (e.g., "I = want milk"), command others ("Come here"), ask questions ("What's that?"), and express feelings, interests, and desires ("I see cat")
  • Show plurals (shoes), possessive -'s (John's hat), and early describing words (hot, big)
  • Use pronouns: you me, my, mine

By 3 years, a child should:

Receptive (Understanding)
  • Put objects in, on, under when asked
  • Understand one versus all
  • Correctly answer "Where", "What", and "Who" questions
  • Follow two-step directions (e.g., Get your shoes and bring them to me)
  • Have a vocabulary of about 900-1000 words
  • Use 3+ words in a sentence
  • Mark past tense -ed, even if it is mis-used (walked, gived)
  • Use even more pronouns (they, he, she)
  • Have an understandable conversation with an adult
  • Ask "Who", "What", "Where" and "Why"

By 4 years, a child should:

Receptive (Understanding)
  • Follow 3-step directions (Get your shoes, put them on, and wait by the door)
  • Understand and remember details from stories
  • Have a vocabulary of over 1500 words
  • Use 4+ words in a sentence
  • Use more complex sentences (e.g., "Today I=20 saw a noisy bird")
  • Tell you how they feel ("I'm hungry")

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