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Words and concepts

Your child will tend to learn words that are important to them. Many of the words they learn will belong to common groups or will be related to common concepts (the ideas that the words stand for). For ​example, the words “want”, “more”, and “mine” are all related to the concept of asking for something. By responding to your child’s words, you’re showing them that they can use words to tell you what they want or need.

Your child will need to learn many different types of words to build their vocabulary.

​​​​​Early words and concepts

Below are some examples of the first words your child may learn and the category or concept they relate to.

Categories and concepts Related words
Safety stop, no, move, ow
Getting someone's attention look, help, oh oh
Asking for something want, more, mine, all gone
Names me, mommy, daddy
Social okay, hi, bye, my turn
Locations up, in, on
Actions eat, go, play
Emotions (or Feelings) happy, mad, sleepy
Toys  ball, dolly, truck
Food cookie, milk, juice
Clothing shoes, hat, pants
Describing things big, hot, yucky

Where to go get help

For more information about how speech-language pathologists and audiologists can help, contact:

  • Your doctor, public health nurse, or other health provider
  • Your local health centre

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