Language Milestones: 2 to 3 years

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As explained in “Language Milestones: 1 to 2 years,” language milestones are successes that mark various stages of language development. They are both receptive (hearing) and expressive (speech). This means that in addition to being able to make sounds and words, your child also needs to be able to hear and understand.

You and your three-year-old should be able to communicate with each other very well.

Your two-year-old should be able to communicate with you fairly well. They will master more language skills between ages two and three. They may have had a “word spurt” or still be in the middle of one. This means that they may be acquiring new words at a very rapid rate.

In “Language Milestones: 1 to 2 years,” key developments were listed. Your toddler may be doing what most two-year-olds do at age 23 months or 25 months. They will continue to enjoy learning new words, naming pictures in books, pointing out parts of the body, and other similar activities. You can be teaching her the sounds that animals make.

Language milestones may be reached throughout the entire year. Your child should be making progress. The more language skills they have going into their third year, the further they will progress.

Significant Language Milestones

  • 200 word vocabulary – This milestone is reached anywhere between 19 and 30 months. If they don’t know 200 words by their second birthday, they will well before their third. They will continue to learn new words.
  • Using words – By the time they are three years old, your toddler will have a word they use for almost everything. It will not be a perfect, adult word, but will be consistent.
  • Simple sentences – By two years, your child will have put two words together. They will start to use three-word sentences during their third year. They will also be developing some grammar skills.
  • Types of words – Your two to three-year-old will start using more words that are not nouns. They will start to use simple words to describe objects, such as small or big. They will begin to use pronouns and will be using verbs.
  • Use of speech – Between two and three years of age, your child will make the transition from gesturing to using speech to ask for something or get your attention.
  • Understandable speech – By 30 months of age, the family should be able to understand your toddler’s speech.
  • Body parts – They will get even better at naming parts of the body.
  • Instructions – Your two to three-year-old will be able to follow increasingly complex instructions, such as those with two parts. An example could be, “Pick up your doll and bring it to me.”

What do you think?

Language Milestones: 2 to 3 years

Tell us what you think!


  1. Lynette says:

    My family has 5 languages. Spanish, Arabic, French, Berber, Moroccan Arabic and then of course english. We are teaching our kids spanish and moroccan arabic.

    • Good for you, Lynette! My mother grew up with a Japanese speaking father, but was never taught the language; she wishes that she had learned it. Your kids are very lucky to be bilingual.

  2. yonna says:

    My husband is not fluent in Spanish and his mother (Mexican/Spaniard) has been teaching our 6 yr old since she was a baby Spanish. I have two other children that are 4 mos and 16 mos old so we are working on them all to be bilingual. My husband and I are learn with our children. My daughter 6 year will be attend 3rd grade at a charter school that teaches the kids that speak English will learn Spanish and verse versa with Spanish speaking kids.

  3. EbyMom says:

    My family is bilingual, english and our mother tonugue. We want our children to know our dialect at least be able to understand words in our dialect cos they will definitely learn English in school. I guess my 21/2 yr old understands our dialect but when he watches kids programme which is in English I feel he is a bit confused which is which. He will definitely get there by 3yrs. I worry a lot but this article gave me hope.

  4. Janice says:

    The little ones, try so hard to talk and pick up vocabulary, like they are trying to ride a bike, they got for their birthday! It is sweet.


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