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Language milestones: learning to use pronouns

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Pronouns are words used instead of specific nouns. They give us information about the gender or number of people or objects being referred to. There are different types of pronouns. Subjective pronouns like I, you, he, she, it, we and they, are used as the subject of a sentence. For example, “We went to the park”. On the other hand, objective pronouns like me, you, him, her, us and them, are used as objects in sentences. For example, “The baby liked him”. Normally, kids learn to use subjective pronouns before objective ones, and by the time they turn three, they’re using them in sentences.

Pronouns may seem like simple words, but actually they are pretty complex concepts to grasp because they mark a difference between the speaker and the others. Also, the terms change depending on who is using them! With time your child will practice and learn every rule, until it comes naturally to them. For now, keep in mind that it is totally normal for them to use pronouns incorrectly sometimes, especially if they are using them with verbs and other nouns or referring to themselves.

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If you’d like to help your little one learn to use pronouns properly, the first thing you should do is consciously use them yourself when you talk! For example, instead of saying “Mommy is very proud!” say “I am very proud!”. Make sure they’re getting a lot of exposure to pronouns. To get them to practice, have them make up sentences with subjective pronouns (sentences that start with he, she, they or it). Do this while reading a story and have your little one describe what the characters are doing. For example, “She is jumping on the bed”.

The process of learning to use pronouns correctly can be a bit challenging for some kids. Just make sure your little one gets a lot of practice and with time they’ll get the hang of it.

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