My son can string together some quite complicated sentences.

But he still say "my is" rather than "I am". So, "my is ready!" rather than "I am ready!".

When do children learn this bit of language?

I'm avoiding ages because all children are different. But I assume language development is similar so what has to be in place for children to move to "I am"?

1 Answer 1


I think this depends on the child to some extent. My older son never went through that stage at all; he went straight from using the verb alone ("go park") to using I ("I want to go to the park"). He (and his friends at daycare) did go through the you/I confusion as is common; it's possible 'my' is simply a variant of that. It's also possible "my" is really intended to be "I" - they are the same sound root, just with 'm' in front.

In terms of not conjugating the verb properly, that I did see in my child for a little while. "Is" is a common issue with children, particularly if their parents primarily talk to them in the third person ("David is doing well!" rather than "You are doing well!" / "Mommy is going to the store"). Avoiding talking in the third person can help (certainly did for us); it's not going to fix things immediately, but the child isn't going to learn conjugations from a book - he's going to learn them from listening to Mommy and Daddy use the vocabulary.

For my son, he learned to use I/you properly and am/are shortly (a few months perhaps, though they seem closer to me) after he began using "complete sentences". Ie, he went from "you go school" to "I am going to school" more or less in one step; both the you/I and conjugation happened together along with adding other helper words like participles and adverbs.

  • I think this answer covers most of it. My son can construct complicated sentences - "mummy teaches pharmacology at university". (University was poorly pronounced but all the syllables were in the right place.) But then he'll say "My is ready!" I think we'll just continue to model correct sentences and see if he picks it up.
    – DanBeale
    Feb 25, 2014 at 13:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .