Almost all our lives we write and we write a lot. Starting with going to school until the end of our professional career. Maybe, even after that, though I’m not sure about that yet. We write essays, school term papers, college thesis, and research work. We write letters, personal and professional emails, resumes, curriculum vitae, cover letters, presentations, project documentation. We post a lot on the internet, social media especially. Here comes Grammarly — Free Spelling, Sentence and Grammar Checker Online and much more.
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Even after so many advancements in the world of technology, we are yet to see the speech-to-text conversion, so that we don’t need to write anymore. I think we are going there, but it will still take years before we completely stop writing.
Do you think that it will happen one day? Well, at least I don’t think so.
In fact, the more we are advancing technologically, the more we are writing. More than ever before. These days almost everyone is writing on the internet or otherwise.
The world today is flooded with the variety of tools, applications, and electronic gadgets. They are making our everyday lives more comfortable. But, when it comes to a complete package, which can make our writing fabulous and error-free, there aren’t too many tools out there. And, the tools we have seen so far could never do justice to what we always wanted.
Grammarly made an effort in this field, and they have done a great job. They definitely deserve a few words of appreciation.
There is no perfect world, and Grammarly is no exception. It has its own problems, a very few though. I’m sure they are listening to us, and they will take it to the next level to make it even better than what it is today.
There is always room for improvement. Right? I’m sure Grammarly will keep working on it. Grammarly has a long road to travel to reach perfection.
Writing can be for either academic or professional purpose. It can be for personal or fun reasons. It can be books, movie scripts, theater play, dialogues, articles or the most common one today — a blog post. Writing is an art. It’s creative work. No tool available today can replace that human creativity. Not even with artificial intelligence or machine learning.
The point is that you will still need to learn to bake the cake. But, Grammarly will put the cherry on top of it. If you cannot cook a tasty cake, the cherry on top will not help.
So, what Grammarly is all about?
Grammarly — Free Spelling, Sentence and Grammar Checker Online
Grammarly is a tool for anyone who writes. Even short emails every day, a post on social media or even a 140-characters tweet.
If you were ever embarrassed with the auto-correction feature in Microsoft Word, Outlook or even sending a text or WhatsApp message to anyone, we call it a “typo” these days, then you need Grammarly.
The good thing is that at least small features like these, you don’t even have to pay. It comes for free.
For people like writers, authors, and journalists, it is a must-have tool. I would recommend that not only professional writers but everyone should use it. At least give it a try once and see it for yourself. Grammarly is free to start with.
If you are looking for:
- a cross-platform proofreading tool that works accurately
- a tool or grammar checker to help you proof-read your work
- a complete package to make your writing error-free and easy-to-read
Then, it would be the “end-of-your-search” tool. It is the best tool available today, which can not only correct your spellings but also covers every aspect of grammar.
I’m not saying that it is perfect. But, I can say with confidence that there is no tool available today which you can even compare with Grammarly.
- It cannot be a replacement for education, so minors in schools shouldn’t be using it.
- As I mentioned earlier, if you don’t know how to bake a cake, Grammarly will not be able to help.
- You still need to have a fair amount of knowledge of the English language.
From my experience, it’s not only a must-have tool for people from non-English speaking countries. But even for people from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or any other English-speaking countries.
You might think that I’m overselling this, but why should you even believe me. Experience it yourself. Grammarly is a freemium-product. This means that you can use Grammarly totally free-of-cost with a limited set of features. You can use it everywhere and anywhere you want.
If you like it, you may want to pay for the premium features.
Even for premium plans, you have the options of paying monthly, quarterly or yearly. Grammarly doesn’t force you for a commitment of one year. You can even start with one month of premium. If you don’t like it or if you feel that it’s not worth the money you are paying, you can cancel it anytime. No questions asked.
Let us take a closer look at a few critical features of Grammarly.
Suggestions & Corrections
You can copy and paste your contents into Grammarly, or you can directly write in Grammarly. You can define your writing goals for every article you start with. Synonyms are only a double-click away.
From my personal experience, it’s best to wait until you finish writing before you check for errors using Grammarly. Though it is faster at checking your work as you type than any other tool. But, sometimes there’s a lag which interrupts the flow of thoughts.
Once you are done with your changes, you can also view the insights for every document you work on.
Grammarly provides a detailed explanation of every highlighted error or vocabulary suggestions/improvements. It not only helps with writing but it helps you learn more every day. It also improves your knowledge of English grammar over the period of time.
You still need to apply your mind for each suggested replacement to decide what to fix and what to dismiss. Grammarly gives you total control. Accepting or rejecting a suggestion is in your hand. It saves you from the embarrassment and doesn’t offer the auto-correction feature.
The Plagiarism Detector
The best part I like about Grammarly is the feature of a plagiarism checker, which is very helpful if you’re writing academic documents or reviewing someone’s work. This feature can also be useful for research work concerning heavy citation from other sources.
This is the most strong feature of Grammarly I have seen. See a few examples below.
As you will notice in the screenshots, I was surprised by the extensive knowledge base they maintain. You can’t even write a small part of the sentence which has been written by someone on the internet.
When you purchase the premium version, you receive weekly insights in your mailbox. It provides you with a summary of how you’re doing. It is a nice-to-have feature, and you will really like it. You can take a glimpse of it below.
Ease of Use
If you know how to post on Facebook/Twitter, if you can write emails, you can use Grammarly. Do I need to say more?
Personalization & Customization
Grammarly allows you to select between American, British, Australian and Canadian English.
You can choose a writing genre. This feature is handy for writers who write for different audiences. Grammarly can adapt to different types of languages and writing styles.
Grammarly allows you to have your own personal dictionary and add words to it. This makes it easy when you use the not-so-common terms like “solopreneur”.
Where you can use Grammarly
Grammarly is everywhere, on all the platforms. It has a Windows Desktop App, MacBook App, a Browser extension for Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and Edge which allows you to use Grammarly on (almost) all the websites. It works on Microsoft Word and Outlook as well.
You can even use it on your mobile device. Grammarly has a keyboard for Apple and Android. You can use it for everything like writing emails, composing social media posts, and editing long-form documents. Once you set it up as your default keyboard, it works for every app on your device including Google Docs, which is not possible on the desktop.
Wherever you can think of typing, Grammarly works there.
The Cost of Grammarly
Here are the subscription plan details for you.
You can also try Grammarly for free.
Grammarly Free Vs. Premium
Grammarly Premium includes an advanced grammar checker, a plagiarism detector, and vocabulary enhancement suggestions. Free version might be sufficient for most people unless you are a professional writer and make a living out of writing.
Premium version provides detailed information about each grammatical error. It also provides additional writing insights and an ability to set writing goals. It also finds and fixes more mistakes than the free version.
Features included in free version:
- Grammarly Cards: besides just flagging where it detects issues, it also gives you a detailed explanation of grammar rules.
- Reporting: a report detailing your accuracy in grammar, spelling, plagiarism, and vocabulary. Helps you improve over the period of time.
- Language Preferences: quickly switch between American, British, Canadian, and Australian English dialect.
Premium features only:
- Plagiarism Checker: Grammarly will scour the corners of the internet to cross-check and ensure no plagiarism was conducted, which is surprisingly robust. It can save you from both the directions.
- First, to ensure that your outsourced writing is not stolen one from somewhere, and no one can steal your work.
- Vocabulary Enhancement: helps you to expand your lexicon and write more clearly by suggesting context-optimized alternatives and synonyms for your overused and repetitive words.
And here is the side by side comparison:
Effectiveness and Accuracy of Grammarly
Grammarly works better than any other grammar checker. Grammarly is the best online grammar checking software because of its accuracy and easy integration with Word and online text boxes.
Grammarly provides you a detailed explanation of the problem. All you have to do is to click on the arrow to find out more. It identifies possible solutions and reasons for your mistakes.
I use multiple grammar checker tools for different purposes. I found Grammarly as the best one available. Though Grammarly has a long road to reach perfection, when it is compared with the competition, it isn’t as buggy or slow. It catches more errors and offers more useful suggestions for fixing them with a large margin.
I’m using the premium version of Grammarly for quite some time for my everyday writing. It finds comma errors with ease, which is one of the most common mistakes I make as a writer. It definitely out-performs Microsoft Word in detecting and correcting errors.
Grammarly — a replacement for a human proofreader
Based on my experience, I would not be able to say this with full confidence. Grammarly may overlook few mistakes in some cases. After all, it’s a technical tool. It can’t always provide the context and creativity of a human mind.
You can rely on Grammarly as your first “Go-to and Digital Proofreader,” which will then require another pair of a human-eyes check.
So, who is Grammarly for then?
Grammarly is useful for everyone from bloggers to writers, and anyone who wants to write an accurate email or posts online. It helps in finding grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes with accuracy. Grammarly also provides insights into your readability score, word-length, which is the most beautiful feature and helps you improve your writing over the period of time.
I personally would not recommend this tool for school going kids, but Grammarly Premium can be used by college students who may want to use it once in a while. They can go for a subscription for a month, use it and cancel if you cannot use it effectively on a regular basis, assuming that it doesn’t break any college/university rules.
For the rest of us, this grammar checker acts as a good proof-reader and a good first-line of defense.
Should You Get Grammarly Premium
The short and sweet answer is YES. You should.
But, it’s a personal choice based on what is your writing style and how much you write regularly.
If you are a regular writer like me, then you should definitely go for it. But, if you are not into professional writing and most of it is personal writing, and you don’t write too much on a regular basis, then you may not find it useful. Or worthy enough for the price.
Let me not confuse you much here. The straight answer is to go for the free version to start with. Get a feel of it for few weeks or a month. Then, go for a Premium upgrade for a month, to begin with. I’m sure you will love it. If you do, you can pay for a quarterly or annual price, whichever suits your budget.
Once you start using the free version of Grammarly, it will start sending you discount offers on the premium plans. Watch out for them before you upgrade. The maximum discount I have seen offered it up to 55%.
Cons of Grammarly
This is the most important part if this article you might be looking for. I tried my best to list down almost everything I have experienced so far, which you may not like.
- Limited free version only takes care of critical grammar and spellings, which is anyways in MS Word. However, Grammarly exceeds the expectations. But, there is no harm in using the free version. You will anyways be better off than MS Word. Above all, it is free.
- Some of you may find it expensive. Paying $30 / month is too much to pay for a Grammar Checker tool. Even if you decide to pay for the annual plan and pay upfront $139.95, it comes down to $11.66/ month, which is still too much to pay for every month. But, if you are a professional writer like me, then I would say it is worth the price. You can try it for a month for $30 and decide yourself.
- Lacks support for Google Docs or Office on Mac, but if you can copy & paste into Grammarly, you are good.
- It Can only handle documents up to 65 pages.
- No offline mode. Grammarly will not work if there is no internet connection. I personally don’t find this as a problem. You can still keep on writing, and when you have an internet connection, Grammarly will take care of everything.
- If used in Microsoft Office (PC), the Autosave and Undo features are automatically disabled.
- The suggestions are sometimes outdated, incorrect or don’t fit into the context.
- Grammarly sometimes highlights errors that are not necessarily errors.
- It doesn’t pick up every mistake. Sometimes Grammarly misses errors like a correctly spelled word, which doesn’t fit right in a given context.
- Sometimes, there is a slight delay while the system checks your work. Though it is still faster than any other competition.
A word of caution
- Don’t entirely rely on Grammarly, if you have no idea about correct grammar or punctuation. You may end up with embarrassing results if you just blindly accept all its suggestion.
- If there are any suggestions that you think might seem strange or confusing, a quick search on google will save you.
Final Words about Grammarly
Grammarly can help you avoid typos when working online. You can use it to check spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. whenever you write anything on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even WordPress. It also works with emails ensuring you don’t make any embarrassing mistakes when emailing existing customers or potential clients.
As a professional writer, I found that advanced checker (premium version) is more useful because I work on multiple projects of different varieties and I key-in thousands of words every day. I like Grammarly’s customization of choosing the writing style and having another set of eyes on my work. Using Grammarly, gave me extra confidence before I publish my writing.
While it’s nice not to miss a comma in an email or social media post, I’m not sure if the program is worth its price tag for everyone unless you make a living from writing. As writers and bloggers, we always try for as much perfection as possible, and we need all the help we can get.
Grammarly makes writing easier by providing mostly accurate and useful corrections that we might have overlooked. Although it cannot dictate your writing style, Grammarly is a valuable guide that can improve your writing and proofreading skills.
Occasionally, I found that real-time Grammarly checks distract my writing. I believe, this is the standard issue across all the tools. It’s easier to finish keying in your thoughts without any distractions. I prefer to use Grammarly once I’m done with my writing.
The definite benefit of Grammarly is that it works everywhere.
It always surprises me to look at my statistics, when I receive a weekly report from Grammarly. It is always a pleasant surprise. Grammarly has made me a better writer, proofreader, and editor.
Grammarly doesn’t auto-correct anything on its own. It gives you the total control. It will highlight the mistakes along with suggestions with detailed explanation and leaves the power in your hand to decide if you want to apply the recommendation or not.
- Works in Chrome on all the websites that a blogger should need (Gmail, Social Media, WordPress, Comments)
- A personal dictionary is a great feature — to make sure that you spell certain words correctly (especially words like solopreneur that doesn’t exist in the dictionary)
- You can choose your own writing style
- Provide you with stats on your writing
- A “smarter” and better proofreader in comparison to Microsoft Office’s built-in tool, Google Doc or any other grammar checking tools.
- Catching mistakes and protects you from bad reviews, can detect plagiarism and save you from a severe lawsuit.
- Improves the quality of your writing and catches overused adjectives and metaphors
I hope this review fills you with enough insights about Grammarly. Please feel free let me know your questions or comments. I will be more than happy to answer any of your queries based on my experience of using Grammarly.
Well, you can never go wrong starting with a free version of Grammarly. There is nothing to lose. In fact, you will gain something for sure.
Happy writing !!!
This article was originally published on blogCandor.