Manglish: common mistakes

Some common mistakes made by Malaysian



Malaysians use words with the wrong meaning.

Here are some common mistakes


Wrong: Can you borrow me five ringgit?

Correct: Can you lend me five ringgit?


Wrong: He is living in Hotel Odeon. (The word refers to a place where one lives for a long time, as in a home)

Correct: He is staying in Hotel Odeon. (For a place one stays for a short time)


Wrong: The state of Malaysia. (This is a country)

Correct: The state of Malacca.


Wrong: They learn History and Mathematics. (Learning is used for skills such as cooking or driving)

Correct: They study History and Mathematics.


Wrong: They ate a lot of fishes for dinner.

Correct: They ate a lot of fish for dinner.


Wrong: The lady goes marketing to get food for her family. (Marketing means to sell something)

Correct: The lady goes shopping to get food for her family.

Other oddities in written Malaysian English include:


WrongIts cool in Fraser’s hill. (Its signifies something that belongs to the hill, eg: “its lush greenery”)

CorrectIt’s cool in Fraser’s hill. (It’s is a contraction of “it is”)


Wrong: Keep quite!

Correct: Keep quiet!


Wrong: His work is worst than yours. (A superlative adjective)

Correct: His work is worse than yours. (A comparative adjective)


Wrong: They walked passed the shop. (The past tense of the verb “pass”)

Correct: They walked past the shop. (This is a preposition. “Past” usually follows a verb eg: “He ran past the garden”)


Wrong: The lost of her handbag really stressed her.

(This is the past tense of “lose” and is a verb)

Correct: The loss of her bag really stressed her. (This is a noun)



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