Speech & Language Milestones in Young Children by Kathleen E.
Mahn* and Frances Page Glascoe, Ph.D.
Skills in speech (sound pronunciation) and language (listening,
understanding and using words) develop in an orderly way, although
the pace may differ from child to child. Below are general guidelines.
Most children will show these skills within six months of the
1 year: 1 word sentences (Stop!)
2 years: 2 word sentences (All gone!)
3 years: 3 to 5 word sentences (Me go potty.)
4 years: 4 to 7 word sentences (Let’s go to the store right
now!). Uses different parts of speech almost all the time.
How Many Words Does Your Child Use?
1 year: 1 to 10 words
1˝ years: 10 to 100 words
2 years: 100 to 250 words
2˝ years: 250 to 400 words
3 years: 450 to 900 words
4 years: More than 1500 words
3 years: Sounds of the letters: m, b, p, h, w and all vowels
(a, e, i, o, u)
4 years: k, g, t, d, n, ng, f
5 years: s, z, l, v, y, th, sh, wh, ch
6 years: r, j,
How Well Can Others Understand Your Child?
2 years: 25% of the time
2 ˝ years: 60% to 65% of the time
3 years: 75% to 90% of the time
4 years: 90% of the time
Stuttering in the preschool years is normal.
Be sure to give your child plenty of time to say what he is
trying to say.
*Kathleen E. Mahn is Speech-Language Pathologist in the Department
of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University. Frances Page Glascoe is
Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and Penn
State University, also the developer of the Parents’ Evaluation
of Developmental Status screening tool – usually referred to as
“PEDS.” This article, the third of a five-part series, Tips for
Parent, is reproduced with permission of the authors.