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Common Language Mistakes in Children

When children learn to talk, they often make language mistakes. Some common mistakes include:

  • Logical missteps. Children often make logical missteps when they follow the English language rules they have learned, such as saying "mouses" instead of "mice" or "goed" instead of "went."
  • Mispronouncing words. Many children between the ages of 1 and 3 years mispronounce words. For example, they may say "aminal" for "animal" or "hostibal" for "hospital."
  • Using incorrect letter sounds. For example, children between the ages of 2 and 3 years often say the sound for the letter "r" as a "w" (they say "wabbit" instead of "rabbit"), and the letter "d" for "t" (they say "dat" instead of "that"). They also may use the sound for the letter "t" for any other sound they have trouble with.
  • Having difficulty saying certain letter sounds. When children begin to talk, they often have problems saying the sounds for certain letters. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 years may have problems saying the letters "m," "p," "b," "w," and "h." Even some 6- and 7-year-olds have problems saying the sounds for the letters "sh," "l," "th," and "r."
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Last Revised December 21, 2012

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