Grammatical Morphemes in Order of Acquisition*

Based on Brown (1973)

Grammatical Morpheme Example
Present progressive  (-ing) Baby crying.
in Juice in cup.
on Book on table.
Plural regular (-s) Daddy have tools.
Past irregular Doggie ate bone.
Possessive  ('s) Jake's apple.
Uncontractible copula  (used as main verb) This is mine.
Articles (a, the) A red apple.
The big house. 
Past regular  (-ed) He jumped high.
Third person regular  (-s) Susie drinks.
Third person irregular Baby does patty-cake.
Kitty has a toy.
Uncontractible auxiliary Are you thirsty?
She was running.
He is. (Response to “Who’s crying?”) 
Contractible copula It's cold outside.
Contractible auxiliary Mommy's crying.

*All grammatical morphemes are typically acquired by about 4 years of age.

Brown, R. (1973). A first language: The early stages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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