Language Development

Below are the age ranges for typical developmental milestones. Click on an age range to display milestones for that time frame.

  • Uses speech sounds to get attention
  • Listens when spoken to
  • Says 1-3 words
  • Uses nouns almost exclusively
  • Understands simple commands
  • Says 3-20 words or more
  • Produces 2-word phrases
  • Follows simple commands
  • Produces mostly unintelligible speech
  • Combines gestures and vocalizations
  • Requests more of desired items
  • Uses words more frequently
  • Understands 300 or more words
  • Says 50-100 or more words
  • Starts to combine nouns and verbs
  • Begins to use pronouns (I and mine)
  • Is 25-50% intelligible to strangers
  • Answers “what’s that?” questions
  • Enjoys listening to stories
  • Knows 5 body parts
  • Follows 2-part commands
  • Speech is 50-70% intelligible to strangers
  • Understands 500-900 or more words
  • Says 50-250 or more words
  • Uses 3-4 word phrases
  • Asks 1-2 word questions
  • Verbalizes toilet needs
  • Requests items by name
  • Responds to some yes/no questions
  • Follows simple commands and answers simple questions
  • Enjoys listening to short stories, songs, and rhymes
  • Understands who, whose, and how many
  • Understands most things said to him/her
  • Uses vowels correctly
  • Uses ‘ing,’ possessive ‘s,’ and plural ‘s’
  • Speech is 80% intelligible to strangers
  • Understands 1200-2000 or more words
  • Says 800-1500 or more words
  • Understands object function
  • Understands differences in meanings (stop-go, in-on, big-little)
  • Follows 2-3 step commands
  • Asks and answers simple questions (who, what, where, why)
  • Uses language to express emotion
  • Uses 4-5 words in sentences
  • Is conscious of past and future
  • Appropriately uses ‘is’, ‘are’, and ‘am’ in sentences
  • Uses pronouns (him, her, he, she, they etc.)
  • Tells two events in chronological order
  • Engages in long conversation

Typical Speech Sound Development

The following chart shows typical time frames for speech sound development. The bar begins when a child starts to produce a sound correctly and ends when 90% of typical children have mastered the sound.


Concerned about your child’s development?
Contact Us