Language Milestones – 3 Years Old

3 Years Old

Understanding LanguageUsing Language
Understands words for some colours and shapesHas a vocabulary of about 2000-4000 words
Understands a variety of concept words (e.g., slow/fast, hot/cold, wet/dry, etc.)Combines words into sentences to communicate
Understands more complex preposition terms (e.g., in front of, around, behind)Uses more adult-like verb tenses more frequently (e.g., jumping, jumped, jumps, etc.)
Remembers and understands familiar stories from booksCan use language to report events, make predictions, express emotions and use in imaginative play
Follows directions involving several steps (e.g., "go upstairs, get your book and give it to your brother")Speech is understood by strangers approximately 75% of the time
Can engage in conversation by adding new information to the topicAsks why questions
Dramatization emerges in playCan tell a story with a theme but no real plot
Can recognize rhyming wordsArticles appear in speech such as 'a' and 'the'

Language Milestones

3 Years Old

It is important to monitor your child’s language development milestones right from birth. The following provides a general guideline for behaviours your child should be demonstrating by a specific age for healthy language development.

This chart is meant for informative purposes only and is not a substitute for a speech and language assessment. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s speech and language development it is recommended you discuss this with your doctor or contact a local speech-language pathologist where you are living.

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