Toddler language milestones | 2 to 4 years

Posted on March 29th, 2017

Your toddler’s vocabulary will increase rapidly from the age of two years. Here’s what language milestones you can expect from him over the next two years.

Language milestones from two to four years

Most toddlers have an expressive vocabulary of between 200 to 300 words and can understand up to 1 000 words by the age of two.

ALSO SEE: 25 words your two-year-old should be able to say

Toddler language milestones 2 to 3 years:

  • Your toddler will begin to form three-word constructions, although not always in the correct sequence.
  • Your little one will start using words such as ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘you’ and ‘yours’.
  • At two-and-a-half-years toddlers can say who they are.
  • They also use prepositions such as ‘up’, ‘in’, ‘on’ and ‘under’, and begin to use the correct word order in sentences.
  • Between 20 and 26 months most toddlers can say the names of easier body parts and use them in short sentences.
  • They also understand and start using simple adjectives such as ‘large’ and ‘small’.
  • Toddlers love listening to stories at this age, although they can’t repeat them yet, so spend some quality time reading to your child.

Toddler language milestones 3 to 4 years:

  • At the age of three years your toddler’s expressive vocabulary consists of 450 to 500 words.
  • He will know his name, that he is a boy and he’ll be able to tell you his age.
  • The use of plurals, nouns, adjectives and verbs in combination will occur more frequently and he will understand longer and more complex sentences.
  • 80% of a three-year-old’s spoken language can be understood depending on how frequently you communicate with him.
  • His use of different sentence constructions increases and now includes the future tense.
  • He will also find it easier to listen.

Get your toddler talking

 Click here for tips on how to stimulate your toddler’s vocabulary.

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About Xanet Scheepers

Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.