My friend's son loves dinosaurs. He'll show me a toy or a picture of one, and say "dinosaur-ous!"

My child is rapidly approaching speech, and I was wondering if it is better to point out errors like that? ("No, it's dinoSAUR.") Or should you simply agree with the child, but pronounce it correctly for them? ("Yes, I see the dinosaur!")

  • 2
    Is your friends' son or family from another country? I know in Danish and German "dinosaurus" is correct. Might be an opportunity to discover that different languages exist. Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 10:47
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    – user420
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 13:11

4 Answers 4


"Yes, I see the dinosaur!"

As far as I've heard and read (I have no source at hand, that I could cite), it is good to repeat the words pronounced clearly and correctly
and IMHO it is better for the child if you encourage it with "Yes....".

Our son (now 4 years old) is relatively far with speaking. He does not like it at all, when he is corrected and then sometimes repeats the wrong pronunciation in defiance of us.


At toddler age - all you can do is repeat with the correct pronunciation.

At 4 or 5, you can be a bit firmer and say, "Not quite right, it's 'dinosaur'" and the message can get through, although, as @BBM said, when they feel awkward that can just make them deliberately say it wrongly :-)


I correct Matthias' English when he mispronounces words. It's normally a gentle, "You almost had it right, try again - and then enunciate the word (or a part of the word, then the other part) and get him to repeat it.

Sometimes he uses an English word, sometimes a Danish - and then there's the "Danglish" words - those are the most fun to correct.


I have four kids of my own and spend a lot of time watching other people's kids. What I have found is that they all develop language skills at a different paces. As a toddler, I wouldn't do anything other than making sure you pronounce the word correctly. My youngest son calls them sino sores. Whenever he mispronounces it, I usually repeat it back to him while clearly enunciating the word. "You are right! That is a dinosaur!". Make sure that they can see your mouth and try to over exaggerate the movements. I have a daughter in speech therapy and this is one of the suggested techniques. If you find the problem continues as he gets older, this may be an indication of a speech problem. However, problem with a few words is not an indication of a speech problem. I would only start worrying if he has problems pronouncing certain sounds like s or l. Also, I wouldn't worry about that until they are older.

  • It could also be an indication of a hearing problem if it continues - they can't follow your suggestion if they aren't hearing it correctly! Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 15:30

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