A lot of the kids I see here at the clinic will come in not saying a single word. Often one of the first they develop on their own, after basic requests for things they, want such as ‘mum’ or ‘milk’ is ‘mine’. Most parents will often comment then that the word ‘mine’ or ‘me’ is all their child will say and they will often insert it inappropriately into sentences such as ‘cookie mine’. This brings about the question of when this is normal and when the child should start producing other pronouns in the appropriate sentences. So I have compiled a list of pronouns and outlined at what age we should expect children to be using them.
Twelve to twenty six months
Often the first pronouns to come about are “I”, as it is one of the easiest to say, being a single sounded word and as kids are relatively ego-centric at this age it is also a frequently used word. “I” is also used in both a subjective and objective manner as it is an easy way to describe a range of items without placing too much restriction on its use.
Twenty seven to thirty months
Around the two-year mark, children have yet to develop theory of mind so their world continues to be quite egocentric with first person pronouns being used very commonly. They develop other first person pronouns such as ‘my’, ‘me’, ‘mine’ as well as ‘you’ around this age bracket.
Thirty-one to thirty-four months
Around the three-year mark, children can quite confidently distinguish between genders and start using gender pronouns such as ‘he’ and ‘she’. They also begin to use ‘your’, ‘yours’ and ‘we’.
Thirty-five to forty months
As children approach four years of age they begin to use more pronouns referring to groups of people such as ‘us’, ‘them’ and ‘they’ as well as possessive gender pronouns such as ‘his’ and ‘hers’.
Forty-one to forty-six months
Around the four year mark children develop other forms of gender pronouns such as him and her as well as more complex subjective pronouns and their possessive forms such as ‘its’, ‘our’, ‘ours’, ‘their’ and ‘theirs’.
Forty-seven months and above
The final pronouns that arise after four years of age are the more complex pronouns such as reflexive pronouns like ‘himself’, ‘herself’, ‘itself’, ‘yourself’, ‘ourselves’ and ‘themselves’.
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This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you have speech pathology related questions, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective therapy targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.