How would you describe your two-year-old: Terrific, troublesome, talented, terrible, tactful, thoughtful? How would you describe their speech and language skills: limited, proficient, advanced?

Each child develops at their own rate, but there are speech and language developmental milestones that are important to hit by 24 months. The chart below highlights these key milestones:

Speech and Language 24 Month Milestones

Speech and Language Domain

What does this mean?

Milestones to hit by 24 months

Expressive Language

How your child uses words to express himself/herself

★ Uses two word phrases consisting of nouns and adjectives (i.e., blue car, more milk).

★ Begins to use pronouns: I, it, my, mine

★ Uses intonation to ask yes/no questions

Expressive Vocabulary

What words your child uses to label his/her environment

★  By 18 months old, your child should have approximately 50 words in their expressive vocabulary

★  By 24 months, their vocabulary should grow to 200-300 words

Receptive Language

How your child understands language

★  Follows one-step directions

★  Answers yes/no questions

★  Points to various objects and actions in a book

★  Locates familiar objects

★  Understands where & what questions

Speech Intelligibility

How well your child can be understood by others

★ Two-year-olds should be 50% intelligible: familiar and unfamiliar listeners should be able to understand half of what your child says

★ Produces the following consonants within words: p, b, m, h, n, w

  • Your child will likely make speech sound errors, but this is expected for this age

Play Skills

How can your child interact and communicate with others?

★  Engages in parallel play: independently play next to or near another child

★  Engages in pretend play (i.e., talking on a telephone)

★  Talks to self during play

★  Practices intonation, sometimes imitating an adult


All norms in this chart are taken from the Linguisystems Guide to Communication Milestones which cites the specific resources and research articles used to find each milestone.


Research has shown that early intervention is best! If you have questions about your child’s speech and language development, please feel free to contact Brooke today at (774)-218-0354. She offers free 30-minute consultations to determine if services are appropriate. Visit to get started or email Brooke at

About The Author

Brooke O’Leary is an ASHA certified speech-language pathologist. She owns her own private practice that provides in-home and virtual speech and language in the Greater Boston Area. She has a dual Bachelors and Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northeastern University. Brooke also has a certificate in Early Intervention from Northeastern and specializes in articulation and language disorders.