Some common errors found in ESL English

ESL learners have invented many words and expressions that native speakers of the language are unlikely to understand. In this article we will take a look at some of these curious expressions that are quite popular among ESL learners in Asia and Latin America.


This is an expression that most native English speakers do not use or understand. Few dictionaries mention the phrase ‘head-bath’ – the few that do state that this expression is mainly used in Indian English.

When an Indian speaker says that he has a head-bath every day, what he means is that he washes his head or hair every day. To express the same idea, a native English speaker would say, ‘I wash my hair every day’.

What does the word ‘ranker’ mean?

A ranker is a commissioned officer who has been promoted from the enlisted status. This word cannot be used to refer to a person who performs well in an examination. To express that idea you can use the expression ‘rank holder’.

However, in India it is not uncommon for parents and teachers to label every student who has secured decent marks a ‘ranker’. Remember that native English speakers do not use the word ranker to refer to a brilliant student who scores good marks or secures a rank.

Office hours or office timings

The word ‘office timings’ doesn’t exist in native English. Instead, native speakers use an expression like ‘office hours’ or ‘working hours’.