Age-by-Age Guide to Your Child's Language Skills

2 to 5 Years

2 1/2 years: Conveying whole thoughts by employing just a few words, like saying "Mommy no socks" for "Mommy isn't wearing any socks today."

3 years: Speaking in longer sentences; putting several thoughts together to tell a story; using about 300 words; following a story line and remembering ideas from it; enjoying nonsense phrases

4 years: Having extensive conversations with adults; using adjectives in detailed sentences; telling knock-knock jokes; asking questions with proper intonation

5 years: Using expressive vocabulary of 2,500 words; understanding 14,000 words; expressing complicated thoughts like fears and dreams; saying "thank you"; using words to elicit reactions from others

Additional reporting by Colleen Davis Gardephe

Sources: Johns Hopkins University; J. Lane Tanner, MD, FAAP; Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD; John Bonvillian, PhD

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment