Language Stage 3

At stage three, the person learns to use the smallest units of meaning, called morphemes, to change meaning, such as adding –ing to verbs. Phrases and sentences may not sound grammatically correct because helping verbs are not included at this stage. For example, the person might be saying “it go” and then begin to say “it going”. A person at stage three begins to use the prepositions “in” and “on” in phrases such as “in box” and “on head”. The use of plurals begins at stage three. The mean (average) length of utterance grows to 2.75, with typical phrases ranging from two to three words.

Approx. Vocab. Size Utterance Length in Morphemes* Examples
200 to 1,000 words Range: 2.5 to 3.0 Mean: 2.75 Mom coming in, Dad helping, Man riding, Look it going, My cars

*a morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in a language

Need more help? Check out our Target Vocabulary Lists and Lessons, Glossary or Frequently Asked Questions.

Language Objectives

  • Speak in simple complete sentences
  • Increase the number of words used meaningfully
  • Speak plural nouns correctly
  • Use simple complete sentences to direct another person’s actions
  • Use negatives in simple sentences
  • Use simple complete sentences to express requests
  • Use ing verbs to show action continuing in the present
  • Use prepositions to show position
  • Combine verbs ending in ing with prepositions
  • Use simple pronoun + verb phrases
  • Use infinitives (to+verb) to complete statements

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