Language Milestones – 4 Years Old

4 Years Old

Understanding LanguageUsing Language
Understands most of what is said at home and at schoolHas a vocabulary of approximately 4000 to 6000 words or more they use to communicate
Understands basic 'when' and 'how' questionsCan initiate and maintain a short conversation with peers and adults
Creates imaginary roles with props during pretend playAsks various types of questions and can request detailed explanations of events
Follows directions when part of a groupAble to identify rhyming words (e.g., hat-cat)
Starts to understand temporal terms (e.g., yesterday, tomorrow, before, after)Says all speech sounds correctly but may make mistakes on r and th sounds
Understanding of basic size vocabulary (e.g., fat/thin, tall/short, etc.)Can tell a short story including describing events from the past
Starts to engage in pretend and cooperative play with peersUses conjunctions such as and, because, so and if
Able to play simple, rule-based games (e.g., board games, tag, etc.)In general, speaks easily without repeating sounds or words, and is understood by others

Language Milestones

4 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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