“Have you ate?” and “I burped in my poop!” Language Development and It’s Quirks

7 Mar

One day at a group function I listened to a mother shouting across the gym to her kids, “Have you ate yet?”  Ack!  The grammar snob in me wanted to scream, “Eight what?  It’s EATEN! Have you eaten!”

Language development is an interesting thing.  Have you listened to your young kids try to work out their speech.  It is really amazing.  Verb conjugation is especially neat.  Listening to such phrases as “I eated my dinner.” and “I goed to bed.” are just small steps to the ultimate goal.  At first glance it may sound like your kids don’t get it.  But take a closer look.  They are actually mastering the basic elements of conjugation.  They have already figured out that -ed tacked on to the end of a verb denotes the past tense.  And while they may be stumbling over the quirkiness of some irregular verbs they actually do understand the basics.

Another fun thing with speech development is a child’s ability to come up with unique phrases that clearly express their real meaning.  For example, my two year old often declares (loudly and with great joy!) “I burped in my poop!”  He of course means that he farted.  But what an expression!  Clearly, he understands where his farts originate and that poop also comes from the same place.  He also understands that burping relieves many of the same discomforts that farting does.  I take it as a sign that we are one step closer to potty training.  But that is another story.

So, take a deep breath and relax.  People want to communicate and will quickly learn the most effective way to do so.

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