What's the normal vocabulary for a 2-year-old?
How many words should my 2-year-old be able to say?
Submitted by Parents Team

Around their second birthday, many children begin to acquire words at breakneck speed, a phenomenon experts call the naming explosion. Most 2-year-olds can say about 100 words. By the time your toddler is 2 1/2, she'll probably know close to 300. But not all children follow this pattern, so don't panic if your child isn't talking nonstop by 2 1/2. However, if by the time your toddler is almost 3, she says fewer than 25 words and can't combine them in a simple two-word phrase, talk to your pediatrician. -- Natalie Walker Whitlock

Copyright 2004. Reprinted with permission from the June 2000 issue of Parents magazine. Updated 2009

Answered by Parents Team
Community Answers (50)

Psssh, my daughter, Cerebellum, was beginning her postdoc at Harvard when she turned two. I know, I know, a little slow but she took a year off to circumnavigate the globe. I mean, I am a sekund grade techur, so she kind of has to be advanceded. I will never forget the day she walked out of my womb, calculus book in hand, politely asking "Could you point me in the direction of the nearest commode?" In all honesty, every kid develops differently, which is why the range of words is so wide.
Submitted by bethgoller

To the fourth grade teacher: my goodness. Your son's name is "Brain?" I can only hope you meant "Brian." I also hope your kids aren't learning their vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar from you, as they would be in trouble (and I find it hard to believe you're a qualified teacher). Ultimately, I feel sorry for your children being pushed to develop long before they were meant to. Walking at 6 months? Please. You call it "treatment". Sounds like abuse.
Submitted by JillC222

My son infrequently spoke 10 words at age 2 & his speech was not understood by others. This continued until age 4, when he suddenly began speaking in long sentences with an extraordinary vocabulary, but his speech remained difficult to understand. At 8, after 6 years of therapy, his speech is incredible. No one knows why he learned speech this way; HE achieved enormous success with this unique learning method. We adapted to him and it worked. Acceptance of this unique process is our success.
Submitted by amyschoch605

My son is 2 and he can drive a car. We also learned the three fundamental laws of physics as defined by Newton. He also learned nonlinear algebra on his own and is working on writing his first book. If only I could get him to stop doing poopie in his pants.
Submitted by cmor15001

I read the average 2 year old knows about 50 words. My kid knows 1000 and he will turn 2 in 2 days. He can ride a bike with no training wheels. He can also do 2 pull ups. He knows all the basic colros and count to 100 in English, to 20 in Spanish, and to 100 in Asian. He can sing over 10 songs by heart. He can also take apart a DVD player and put it back together....blindfolded. LOL.
Submitted by stacey2012

First thing I want to say to all these moms that are taking this concerned mothers question as an opportunity to brag about how many words your child knows and how brilliant they are doesn't help. Mothers like that get on my nerves! Have some compassion. Second thing I want to say is no you shouldn't be concerned yet. My daughter wasn't speaking that much at all at 18 months and now she is right on track! Don't worry so much, kids seem to talk all of a sudden!
Submitted by Ashmash8833

First thing I want to say to all these moms that are taking this concerned mothers question as an opportunity to brag about how many words your child knows and how brilliant they are doesn't help. Mothers like that get on my nerves! Have some compassion. Second thing I want to say is no you shouldn't be concerned yet. My daughter wasn't speaking that much at all at 18 months and now she is right on track! Don't worry so much, kids seem to talk all of a sudden!
Submitted by Ashmash8833

My daughter will be 2 in 5 days and she can count to 20 and knows her abc's. She doesn't know any colours yet, but we read "Colours" everyday and paint, draw, and use chalk on a regular basis. She knows sign language as well. She can cut, with children's scissors, and paste. She loves dancing, jumping (really high for her tiny stature), singing running, and making wishes on dandelions. She eats very well with a fork and spoon and she can even cut her own meat. The joy of my life. :)
Submitted by caustin92

My daughter will be 2 in 5 days and she can count to 20 and knows her abc's. She doesn't know any colours yet, but we read "Colours" everyday and paint, draw, and use chalk on a regular basis. She knows sign language as well. She can cut, with children's scissors, and paste. She loves dancing, jumping (really high for her tiny stature), singing running, and making wishes on dandelions. She eats very well with a fork and spoon and she can even cut her own meat. The joy of my life. :)
Submitted by caustin92

my daughter will be 2 in a few weeeks, and i can have conversations with her. she speaks in clear sentences like " i dont want to eat that banana" and "i have to tee tee on the potty". she repeats anything we say. she knows her ABC's and the sounds they make, and can count to 15. I wasnt sure what the average was because i have a nephew only a couple months younger who can only put 2 words together at a time, and youre lucky to be able to understand him.
Submitted by laurens322

mommy
Submitted by

mommy
Submitted by

mommy
Submitted by

mommy
Submitted by

mommy
Submitted by

my son is 20 months he can say many words but every day he learns a new one he repeats ealmost everything we say and learns so easely. man he knows his numbers until 5 for the moment but he knows some animals just by showing the picture or asking him where that animal is in a book. he is polite by saying hi to everyone he sees and shake their hands and when they live he sais bye and some times shakes their hand. That is awesome he also sais please when he wants something such as milk, or water.
Submitted by jessi22car

My son is almost two. He chatters away plenty but I don't understand more than a dozen or so words. He wants to know the names of everything so that's good. And we read a lot. I know he is learning for sure. Many people have told me that boys can sometimes speak late. He doesn't have any other kids around him to help him out. If we have a second child, I suspect they will have an easier time of it with my son to help them.
Submitted by mimizoo

My son Brayden is only two years old and he is saying 600-800 words. Im a fourth grade teacher with 3 kids Brayden(2) Brittany&Brain(twins)4 they were walking at 6 m. and crawling at 5m.i bought things that will help them devolp faster at 3m. and i my hubby got walking toys i teach them there # an letters at 10m. if your little ones will be ccalm and sit down for maybe 10-20 mins then your finr i have a little girl on the way her name is brianna i will be doing the same treat ment for her 2
Submitted by misshaylei1

My son is almost 2 and is just now really starting to take off on his vocabulary. I was worried for a while because my daughter was speaking sentences and having conversations by 2. I've been told its a boy thing, but I don't know if I belive that. I've come to realize that each child is different and moves at their own pace. I don't think my son has hit the 100 word mark like this article suggests is average, but he is well on his way!
Submitted by sebby0926

The most important conversations to have with your doctor are concerns about your child’s development. You know your child best and studies have shown that parents are the first to detect 70-80% of all disabilities in children. Delay in reaching developmental milestones is usually the first symptom of CP. If you have concerns about your child developing normally, it is urgent that you share them with your child’s doctor. For more info on how to speak to your doctor, visit: http://bit.ly/jjUDU1
Submitted by CPFamilyNetwork

My daughter is two years and a month old. She qualified for oral motor therapy and special education. She still cannot say more than 10 words. I took her for a hearing test. She had a tremendous amount of fluid in her middle ear and needed ear tubes. The ENT believes we will have a very different little girl on our hands...always go with your instincts.
Submitted by Mommy2Veronica

My son is 2 years old and can only say maybe 10 words. I was told that he needs to see a speech theapist. But i don'y know what to do. I have people all the time telling me that he will eventually start talking and that i better watch it that when he startes talking that he would shut-up.
Submitted by heatherharris26

my baby girl is 18 months old and she is bilingual already. She knows about 200 words in spanish and 200 in english as well. She says thank you, please, your welcome, bless you, etc. She can count till 10 and I she can say sentences with 3-4 words. She is also watching your baby can read program and I really think it has a lot to do with her super fast learning skills.
Submitted by tabirela

i have a 2 year old son who speaks good he repeats everything you say or do he is like a sponge.he can say his abc's,counts up to 10 knows sign language also knows his colors,but every kid is different and is smart in there own way :)
Submitted by risa_jdm

my son just turned 3 and he speaks like his about 4 or 5 at times and then he goes so fast i lose track fo what hes says it becomes hard to understand him kaila
Submitted by kailaa31

My son was talking a little at two, but he wasn't putting two and three word sentences together. His doctor recommended calling for an evaluation, but she wasn't overly concerned. We called and he did qualified for 2 hours of speech therapy a week. Long story short, he just turned three and now talks your ear off. He responded really well to the therapy. Like another comment said, he was advanced in all motor skills...maybe spending too much energy there! All kids ARE different...but get help if you can!
Submitted by kj_trudy

My son is 26months and hardly talks at all. It really bothers me bc he gets so frusterated. We are having a hearing test done in a few days and then a speech test a few weeks. Im so nervous but I just want him to be happy and be able to express himself!!
Submitted by

My son is 26months and hardly talks at all. It really bothers me bc he gets so frusterated. We are having a hearing test done in a few days and then a speech test a few weeks. Im so nervous but I just want him to be happy and be able to express himself!!
Submitted by

I tend to see kids excel in either verbal or motor skills - one or the other. Eventually they even out though unless they have learning or physical disabilities. My daughter is high verbal, but her little friend is high with the fine motor skills. Oh well! It's not a competition!
Submitted by onebaby2010

I agree with you lolabug6. Thanks for your response.
Submitted by iivie100

My son is almost 3 and only says about 10 but he understands pretty complex things. I had his hearing checked and discovered that he had fluid in his ears which was making him unable to hear correctly and therefore he could not learn proper vocabulary. We had tubes put in his ears. It's been about two weeks and still no improvement so our next step is to get an evaluation with a speech therapist.
Submitted by vekarae

My daughter is 18 months old and has a vocabulary of 3 words. Should I be concerned?
Submitted by splitkipper

i have a 20month old and she already says more then 200 words, she talks in almost full sentences and asks for what she wants with please and thank you and your welcomes!! we just started talking to her like an adult from a young age and it seemed to work. she also watches and reads the Your Baby Can Read program so that could have some to do with it also. but at 18months the doc was very impressed with how much she talks! guess it verys alot by the kid.
Submitted by frymad22

i have an 8 year old and a 2 year old, both boys. my older son was much quicker in developing language than my younger son, but every child is different. the youngest has developed physically more quickly than the oldest did. i have noticed, however, that my son and i tend to "talk for him" so now that we've noticed our behavior we make sure he is the one speaking and it has really helped
Submitted by cassie.mercer1

My daughter has been talking very well since she was about 16 months old,now that she is 22 months she can say 6 word sentences!! She also counts to 6, knows 3 colors, speaks spanish and english,knows her abc's.Im sure she knows more than 300 words.Her favorite thing to do is read, She always says "mommy, read it to me!" while she is holding a book.Her brother who is 4 now, knew how to count to 10 in english and spanish and sing the abc's when he was 18 months,but he didnt talk nearly as much.
Submitted by leonnabeth

Well my nephew will be 1 year and 6 months on the 5 of March. He speaks a little but everyday he learns a new word and a new experiment. Like today he learned how to rub on his lotion and say "wat u doin?". It makes me happy when I see him learn something new or say something new. I believe that he is a very smart toddler he learns things quick he even cleans up after himself and he listens to me when I say "No!" I LOVE him and that all that matter. :)
Submitted by cperez0829

MY DAUGHTER IS TWO AND A HALF AND I KNOW SHE CAN SAY MORE THAN 300 WORDS. SHE ALSO KNOWS HER ABC'S CAN COUNT, KNOWS SPANISH AND HER SHAPES AND COLORS AND MIMICS EVERYTHING. EVERYONE THINKS SHE IS FOUR. I HAVE READ TO MY DAUGHTER SINCE BIRTH WHICH I THINK HELPED, BUT IT ALL DEPENDS ON EACH CHILD YOU CAN TRY EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO TEACH THEM BUT IN THE END THEY WILL GO ON THEIR OWN PACE.
Submitted by HLM7221

MY DAUGHTER IS TWO AND A HALF AND I KNOW SHE CAN SAY MORE THAN 300 WORDS. SHE ALSO KNOWS HER ABC'S CAN COUNT, KNOWS SPANISH AND HER SHAPES AND COLORS AND MIMICS EVERYTHING. EVERYONE THINKS SHE IS FOUR. I HAVE READ TO MY DAUGHTER SINCE BIRTH WHICH I THINK HELPED, BUT IT ALL DEPENDS ON EACH CHILD YOU CAN TRY EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO TEACH THEM BUT IN THE END THEY WILL GO ON THEIR OWN PACE.
Submitted by HLM7221

Well I was reading to my 30 month old since birth. I did everything by the book, and he was still very slow at talking. He is jsut starting to speak with some independence and randomness. Instead of reapeating us. He is also saying 2, and three words together to make a sentence. I was told that at this age they should be making connections, being able to communicate somewhat with others. No matter what each child is different, no matter what you do. Each child's development is different.
Submitted by Automnykole

We were told that a "typical" 2 year old should be able to say 40 words.
Submitted by muliz24

I started My daughter out with Picture books and ABC flash cards when she was 12-14 mons old. Shes now 22 mons old and can say her ABC's count to 20 count to 10 in spanish knows all her colors and shapes and a few nursery songs. She talks all day long and even answers my questions. ie "where is your sisters pacifier?" "I dont know mommy" But I've seen kids that are 3 and barely talk. So it depends on the child and finding what learning tool they "Like". Try going to a teachers supply store.
Submitted by gurliechick333

I think my girl is a little slow to talk . She only says short words, around 15, and can't mimic me very well ,she doesn't even like to :) She says the few things that interest her, like cat,or feather (english is not our language) and also words that i repeat often (except for NO - she never said NO) or words i taught her like a joke, with a funny voice, she likes to mimic that . She's more talkative in her made up baby language :)
Submitted by saturnine02

all childen are diffant my little man say alot but not as much as one child at church but more then another if your 2 year old is not saying anything at all or just a few words then i would ask your doctor no 2 kids are alike
Submitted by jacquelineb606

My son did not speak in sentences until 2 1/2. he now has an MBA and is a father of a 2 year old and another on the way. However please remember to get your childs eye's checked. My son fianlly go eyeglasses at 11 years old because he complained he could not see the blackboard at school. I had no idea until then>
Submitted by ukcountess

Also, I would like to add that if there's a new baby coming into the family, you should prepare the toddler for that. I'm saying this because of my own experience. If you don't keep up with your toddler in talking, then they're going to regress and start resenting things. Like a baby, they need a lot of attention, but don't treat them like a baby. Give them options. Options are also a great way to help with their vocabulary. I hope that answers your question.
Submitted by Ch0.Hyung.Ryun1

As long as you keep on reading to your child and challenging him or her to newer heights in vocabulary, by showing examples, the child should do fine with vocabulary. My son was a late talker, but now he's great in school and actually ahead of his class for reading and talking. Just take some time out of your schedule to devote reading time. Also you so do lots of involvement with the toddler. You need to speak your actions. In other words, if you're washing your hands tell the toddler that
Submitted by Ch0.Hyung.Ryun1

yes
Submitted by cdavisdiaz

true
Submitted by cdavisdiaz

10 to 15 words
Submitted by cdavisdiaz