3-4 Years

Before looking at these milestones, you should read this.

By 4 years your child should:

Listening and Understanding

  • Hear when you call from another room
  • Understand some words for shapes (eg. circle), colours (eg. blue) and family relationships (eg. Grandma)

Speech Sounds and Talking

  • Unfamiliar people should be able to understand at least 2/3 (66%) of his speech (even if he still doesn’t use all sounds correctly)
  • Use pronouns such as “me”, “mine” and “you”, “mine”, “we”, “they” and “I”
  • Use a lot of sentences that contain more than 4 words
  • Tell stories using 4 sentences at a time
  • Answer “who”, “what” and “where” questions
  • Ask “when” and “how” questions
  • Say rhyming words eg. dog-log
  • Tell you what he thinks will happen next in a story

Social Skills

  • Talk about what he’s interested in
  • Negotiate with others
  • Talk about his feelings
  • Feel shame when caught doing the wrong thing.


  • Be more creative with make-believe play
  • Play board games and card games
  • Prefer to play with others than with alone
  • Use symbols in their play such as a stick becoming a sword
  • Take turns with other children


For more information

This information is not intended to replace the recommendations of a Speech Pathologist for an individual with a communication impairment. If you have concerns about your child’s speech and language development, please contact a Speech Pathologist.