In this Grammarly review, we explain if Grammarly is worth it and profile its key features.
Grammarly is a popular writing tool, but perhaps you’re wondering how it can help you improve your writing skills? I worked as a sub-editor for a national newspaper, where it was my job to find and fix grammar errors in news stories before they went to print. I know first-hand how painful and embarrassing these mistakes can be… but it’s best not to let your fears hold you back from pressing publish. I’ve also spent years trying various grammar checkers and writing tools to find the best one.
If you’re wondering is Grammarly worth it, it excels as a powerful writing assistant. Today, Grammarly is the writing tool I use and trust most. I also require any writers I work with use this tool too. In this Grammarly review, I’ll explain why.
Several years ago, I tried the free version of Grammarly, a grammar and spelling checker for proofreading articles, book chapters, and blog posts. Since then, the product has evolved into a powerful writing assistant.
As a freelance writer, author, and now content publisher, I use Grammarly Premium regularly for proofreading my work. I also rely on it to check articles by other freelancers I work with. It’s a vital tool for my business. In this Grammarly review, I’ll provide a background to the product before getting into its key features. I’ll also explain how to get the most value from Grammarly and if you should pay for the Premium version.
- Grammarly Video Review
- What Is Grammarly?
- What Does Grammarly Do?
- Who Is This Grammar Checker Good For?
- How Much Does Grammarly Cost?
- How To Install Grammarly
- Is Grammarly Easy To Use?
- Is Grammarly Accurate?
- Grammarly Free Vs Grammarly Premium Version
- Grammarly Premium vs Grammarly Business
- Using Grammarly
- Grammarly Competitors
- Can Grammarly Be Trusted?
- Our Grammarly Review Process
- Why You Can Trust Us
- Grammarly Review: FAQ
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Grammarly Video Review
What Is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a popular grammar checker that was released in 2009. Over the years, it has evolved from a basic grammar checker into a plagiarism checker and advanced writing assistant powered by AI, unlike anything else on the market. It also enables writers to improve the readability of their works and rewrite sentences with a click. The Grammarly product is available via a suite of desktop and web apps and software plugins.
The company was co-founded by Ukrainian entrepreneurs Max Lytvyn, Alex Shevchenko and Dmytro Lider. Today, Grammarly’s headquarters are in San Francisco. To learn more, read about Grammarly’s history.
What Does Grammarly Do?
Grammarly scans a piece of writing and identifies writing mistakes, errors and other issues using artificial intelligence. It’s ideal for anyone who uses the written word as part of their job thanks to its various writing and editing tools, including:
Grammar CheckerGrammarly is a powerful and fast grammar checker
Grammarly’s core feature is its grammar checker. It fixes grammar mistakes and punctuation errors of all types. The app or browser plugin provides real-time suggestions and guidelines on how to correct these mistakes. Common examples include errant commas, misplaced apostrophes and other common punctuation mistakes. Learn more about the differences between grammar and punctuation.
The premium version of Grammarly provides context to the flagged grammatical errors, including an explanation of the rule in question and additional examples. These are useful for improving your writing skills.
Grammarly includes a robust spell-check tool. You can add words to a custom dictionary using the business version and even create a dedicated style guide. The spell checker covers variations including American English, British English, Canadian English and Australian English.
Readability ReportsGrammarly writing insights are useful for self-editing
Grammarly scans clunky sentences, paragraphs and passages. It determines the ideal age group for a writing sample. It flags readability issues based on the following:
- Character count
- Reading time
- Speaking time
Then, using AI technology, Grammarly proposes more concise and clearer rewrites for the reader. To learn more, read our guide to the Grammarly Readability score.
Writing Style Improvements
Grammarly provides word choice suggestions and rewrites based on a piece’s ideal audience and intent. For example, Grammarly flags complicated words and clunky sentence structure if the intended audience is set to general and informal.
Grammarly includes an AI-powered writing assistant. Essentially, this assistant scans a piece of writing and proposes fixes and suggestions you can accept or reject with a click. These rewrites enable a writer who doesn’t feel confident writing in English regularly to create something concise and clear, for example, a business email.
Grammarly offers a downloadable report you can send to another writer or editor. It provides word count, character count and other readability metrics writers and editors can use to improve a piece of writing.
Plagiarism CheckerGrammarly plagiarism checker in action
Grammarly detects plagiarism by comparing a piece of writing to billions of web pages. It provides articles with plagiarism scores and links that an editor can check. This report helps verify other writers’ work, check your work, and find missing citations. To learn more, read our guide about the best plagiarism checkers.
Grammarly offers a helpful style guide if you collaborate with other writers. You can add custom words and terms to this style guide and ensure everyone writes out company terms consistently. This style guide is also helpful if you want to set rules around spellings and names.
Grammarly offers a tone detector that helps adjust an article or writing style. Essentially, a writer can decide if they want to sound. The tone detector helps tailor the style of business proposals, emails and even Slack messages. The Grammarly team offer this example:
The sentence “We are unsure of the potential impact of this project” sounds indecisive. The tone detector proposes to change this to “We need to find out the potential impact of this project,” which sounds more confident.
A newer Grammarly feature is its citation manager. A writer can automatically create citations for their work at a click using the web browser plugin. It generates citations for APA, Chicago Manual of Style and MLA. This citation manager works on sites like Wikipedia and research sites like Pubmed, SAGE Journals and Frontiers.
Who Is This Grammar Checker Good For?
Grammarly is useful for native English speakers and those who don’t write in the English language that often. It also acts as another line of defence for professional writers. Its ideal audience includes:
- Freelance writers
- Content marketers
- Academics, researchers and essayists
- Content publishers
- Small business owners
- Anyone who writes in English often.
Grammarly provides English grammar-checking tools only. However, it includes settings specific to Canadian English, American English, British English, Australian English and more.
How Much Does Grammarly Cost?Grammarly is free to use. The Premium version costs $30 per month. The Business version is billed on a per seat basis.
A free trial of Grammarly is available. The premium version includes more advanced tools like the plagiarism checker. Here are the current Grammarly pricing options:
- Grammarly Premium monthly subscription costs $30 per month.
- Grammarly Premium quarterly subscription costs $60
- Grammarly Premium annual subscription costs $144.
A single subscription covers all of Grammarly tools and reports. You could always try the free version of Grammarly before upgrading.
How To Install Grammarly
First, you can create an account using your Google or Facebook account or your best email address. It’s OK to start with the free version. Now, you can use Grammarly in several different ways.
Grammarly Web App
You access the Grammarly web app via app.grammarly.com. Then, paste a piece of writing directly into the web app. It’ll scan your writing and propose fixes. Alternatively, you can upload a rich text document into the web app and check it. You can download or copy and paste the results into your writing app.
Grammarly Desktop App
You can download a desktop app for Windows or Mac. These apps require internet access to use. The app works in the background and checks any piece of writing for issues and mistakes. The Grammarly icon appears when you’re editing and writing. Click on it to scan a document in Microsoft Word for errors and other mistakes.
Grammarly Browser ExtensionsThe Grammarly Chrome extension is easy to use
Grammarly excels thanks to its popular Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge browser plugins. After you install the plugin, please log in to your account. Now, Grammarly automatically scans pieces of writing in your web browser.
You can use it like a pop-up to check emails in Gmail, your latest social media posts and more on the fly. Grammarly Chrome and other extensions help check emails, social media posts, and anywhere you write online. Learn more about how to add Grammarly to email.
Grammarly Microsoft Office Plugin
Grammarly offers an officially supported plugin for Microsoft Office. Once installed, you can check and fix an article, report or email directly inside Microsoft Word or Outlook.
Grammarly KeyboardThe Grammarly keyboard is useful for iOS and Android
Grammarly includes an official smartphone keyboard app for iOS and Android devices. Once activated, the keyboard app checks your writing as you compose a text message or email. It helps fix mistakes while working on the go. It also includes intelligent predictions to speed up typing.
The keyboard is customisable too. It’s possible to set up your iOS keyboard layout with your preferred English language keyboard, including AZERTY, QWERTZ, COLEMAK, or DVORAK. You can also use Grammarly indirectly with other apps, assuming you are comfortable with the desktop app. Our resources below explain more:
Grammarly and Slack
Grammarly and Vscode
Is Grammarly Easy To Use?
Thanks to its proliferation of apps and plugins, Grammarly is easy to use wherever you write. It scans up to 100,000 characters in real time and proposes fixes and suggestions. It offers possible solutions and explanations for potential mistakes. You can filter through suggestions based on their importance or score. Then, you can accept or reject requests with a click. Grammarly helped me identify the following:
- Confused prepositions
- Overuse of the passive voice
- Wordy sentences
- Incorrect comma usage
- Repetitive words
- Punctuation errors
- Common writing and grammar mistakes like misplaced apostrophes
- Spelling errors
- Lengthy sentences
- Broken grammar rules
As Grammarly provides context to each fix (based on its Handbook), it’ll help you improve your writing skills rather than simply offering fixes.
Is Grammarly Accurate?I tested the same piece of writing in Grammarly and Word. Grammarly caught some errors a basic grammar checker missed.
Grammarly is accurate for most types of writers. I tested Grammarly extensively against a series of other grammar checkers. I checked blog posts, web copy, emails, and even book chapters for issues. In my tests, it caught more mistakes than a traditional spelling or grammar checker bundled with an operating system or writing app. Although some competitors were comparable in terms of accuracy, Grammarly is the fastest and easiest to use. It’s particularly good for editing non-fiction and professional writing, for example, articles, emails, blog posts, web pages, presentations, etc.
Writers with more specific needs, for example, genre fiction authors, should tailor Grammarly’s rules and settings and also add custom words (e.g. character names) to improve its accuracy. It’s also a good idea to set the correct goals inside of Grammarly as these affect its suggestions regarding delivery and engagement.
The caveat is that no tool or grammar checker is 100% accurate. It’s up to you, the writer, to decide if you want to break a grammar rule or ignore a suggestion because of the audience, writing style, and subject matter.
Grammarly Free Vs Grammarly Premium Version
If you’re on a budget, install the free browser extension and test it yourself. It’s ideal for writers with a minimal budget for writing tools. The free version contains a basic grammar checker. It lacks an advanced grammar checker, a plagiarism detector and some vocabulary enhancement suggestions. That said, it’s still worth using. It underlines potential grammar mistakes in red and proposes fundamental rewrites and fixes. You can also switch between US, British, Canadian and Australian English. It should catch more errors than a basic grammar or spellchecker, and you can try it without spending money.
When you’re ready to upgrade to the paid version, Grammarly Premium contains several additional checks and tools for those who regularly write and publish content online. It also provides additional writing insights and an ability to set writing goals. It also finds and fixes more mistakes than the free version. The best Grammarly premium tools include:
- The plagiarism report
- Overused words
- Inappropriate tone
- Readability scores and reports
- An advanced writing assistant
You can upgrade to Grammarly Premium for a month and cancel when you’re done. Or you could upgrade for the entire year if you use it regularly. Check out our Grammarly tips and tricks guide to get more value from your subscription.
Is Grammarly Premium Worth It?
For me, Grammarly Premium is worth it. I write and publish several dozen articles across several content websites each week. I also edit articles by other freelance writers for these sites with the help of a freelance editor.
It’d be impossible to edit and publish all of these articles without the help of a reliable premium grammar checker that can spot issues I usually miss. What’s more, thanks to this tool, I’ve learnt a lot about the finer points of English grammar. I also use the plagiarism checker regularly when commissioning work by new freelance writers. Finally, I like that I can set up a house-style guide that my editor can use. Our guide compares Grammarly Free vs Grammarly Premium.
Areas for Improvement
Grammarly isn’t perfect. It could be improved in several different ways. The current price of $30 per month is expensive for writers on a budget, although you can avail of a Grammarly discount. I’d also like to see the following:
- Support for other languages beyond English
- A free trial for the plagiarism checker so users can see how valuable it is
Grammarly Premium vs Grammarly BusinessGrammarly Business supports adding team members
Recently, Grammarly introduced a business version of their software. In addition to the features provided on the premium model, the business edition of the Grammarly software includes:
- Admin and user management controls for the privacy and security of your team’s work.
- Priority 24/7 email support
- Centralized billing
- Monitoring tools for checking engagement trends
- A style guide
- Collaboration features
Grammarly for Business is a viable option if you’re running a bigger content publishing team or work with freelance writers a lot. Read our review of Grammarly Business.
Using GrammarlySetting writing goals in Grammarly is your first step
Before using Grammarly to edit a longer work, it’s a good idea to set a writing goal. You can set these goals based on your:
- Intent, e.g., inform, tell a story or describe
- The audience, e.g., general or expert
- Style, e.g., formal or informal
- Emotion, e.g., mild or strong
- Domain, e.g., academic, business or technical
The premium version of Grammarly delivers additional insights based on these goals. I found this feature helpful in editing technical documentation, whereby I assumed the audience was knowledgeable about the topic. Next, Grammarly surfaces issues to fix via five key grammar checker reports alongside its plagiarism detector.
Grammarly underlines grammar and spelling mistakes in red and proposes fixes. Expect to use this report the most. After using this grammar checker on several articles and book chapters, I discovered I have a bad habit of ending sentences with prepositions.
I’m also guilty of using the occasional squinting modifier. Yes, these are finer grammar points, but knowing my bad habits helped me tune up my writing. The built-in grammar checkers in Microsoft Word and Google Docs didn’t provide me with these insights.
I also particularly like the “Accept all suggestions” feature. Essentially, this enables me to review several writing suggestions in a document and accept or reject them all at once.
See the proposed rewrite to the side; I can apply them with a click. Grammarly reviews a piece of writing for clumsy and awkward sentence structure. It then underlines issues in blue. It also scans for instances of the passive voice.
Using AI technology, Grammarly proposes rewrites and other fixes. You’ll need to make a judgement about these recommendations, as not all are relevant. That said, I was impressed by many of these recommendations. Use this report after you’ve fixed grammar mistakes.
Grammarly reviews a piece of writing for challenging or hard-to-understand terms and overused words. It highlights them in green. It also looks for clumsy sentences. Use this report to polish your writing by finding better synonyms.
Grammarly reviews a piece of writing based on your preferred tone and audience. It underlines issues in purple. I didn’t get as much value from this report for emails and other short-form works. However, it’s a nice addition if you want to spend some extra time copyediting a piece before submission or publication.
Grammarly reviews a piece of writing based on your company style guide. It highlights issues in grey. Use this report if you work with freelancers and have a house-style guide. Learn more about style guides.
6. Grammarly Plagiarism Detector
The plagiarism report is one of my favorite Grammarly tools. It’s premium only. Grammarly scans a piece of writing, scans the web and highlights potentially plagiarised content with links. This tool appeals to college students and essayists concerned about citing too heavily from their sources without proper attribution. It’s ideal for those writing academic content regularly. It helps review a peer’s work and check an essay for accidental plagiarism.
The Grammarly plagiarism detector is also helpful if you’ve written an article and can’t remember your sources. Writers can check if they’ve inadvertently copied text from research sources without citing or linking correctly.
You can also check if a freelancer is providing you with original content. I also sometimes use this detector to check if someone has plagiarised popular articles from this site so that I can issue DMCA takedown requests.
Grammarly has been around since 2009 and is a well-known grammar-checking tool. However, several key players are popular with writers and small business owners. The most popular include Word and Google Docs, ProWritingAid, Microsoft Editor, Ginger and Linguix.
Grammarly Vs ProWritingAid
ProWritingAid is your best option if you don’t want to use Grammarly. It’s more affordable and almost as powerful. The free version of Grammarly can check 10,000 words at a time. The free version of ProWritingAid can check 500 words at a time. To learn more, read my ProWritingAid review.
Grammarly Vs Microsoft Word and Google Docs
The free and premium versions of Grammarly caught more errors in our test than the inbuilt grammar checker with Google Docs and Microsoft Office. Considering you can easily use Grammarly for free with this app, it’s a no-brainer. Learn how to add Grammarly to Google Docs
Grammarly vs Whitesmoke
Grammarly is more powerful and user-friendly than Whitesmoke. Although Whitesmoke is cheaper, Grammarly contains more advanced grammar-checking features and tools. However, unlike Grammarly, Whitesmoke lacks a free version or trial. To learn more, read our comparison: Whitesmoke vs Grammarly.
Grammarly vs Turnitin
Grammarly is a better proofreader and grammar checker than Turnitin for one reason: availability. Unless you’re in academia, buying or acquiring Turnitin isn’t easy. Any student or writer can try and use Grammarly without issue to check their essays, papers and more. Read our guide to Grammarly alternatives.
Grammarly Vs, a Human Proofreader
Grammarly excels at checking short blocks of text and articles quickly and easily. It’ll help you edit and publish your work faster. But you still need to take a look at its suggestions. The Grammarly handbook and the context it provides for tips and fixes help. Grammarly sometimes overlooked mistakes, particularly in creative writing and fiction. So, I recommend paying a professional proofreader for longer work, like a book chapter, as they can assess fixes.
Using Grammarly as a Non-English Writer
British English is one of my native languages (alongside Irish). I sometimes write articles in British English. I also write in American English, depending on the website or blog audience. There are subtle differences between both types of English. I’ve sprouted a few grey hairs reading, scanning early drafts looking for instances of “realise” and “realize” or “centre” and “center”…
So, I value Grammarly‘s ability to proofread and grammar-check a document for different types of English, and I use this feature often. If English is your first language, Grammarly is a helpful tool because it teaches the finer points of grammar. Grammarly is still a good tool if English isn’t your first language or if you don’t write articles, blog posts or emails that often, but it’s an aid for learning English grammar rather than a teacher of English.
Can Grammarly Be Trusted?
If you’re a freelance writer, small business owner or professional, there’s little reason not to trust Grammarly. Grammarly Business includes enterprise-grade encryption. It has also achieved several regarded security and compliance certifications, including:
- ISO 27001:2013
- GDRP compliance
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance
- PCI-DSS compliance
If you’re still concerned or work with sensitive materials, you can request a personal data report from Grammarly and see what information it holds about you before proceeding.
Our Grammarly Review Process
We regularly update this Grammarly review as the product evolves. We test new features by checking articles, book chapters and blog posts for grammatical mistakes and other issues. Typically, we test using the Grammarly Chrome and desktop Grammarly editor apps. These articles and other writing samples range from several hundred to several thousand words. We also compare Grammarly to other popular and new grammar checkers.
Why You Can Trust Us
I’ve written and published dozens of articles for newspapers, magazines and online publications, including Forbes and Lifehacker. I’m also a best-selling non-fiction author, a trained journalist and a copywriter.
Software like Grammarly forms a vital part of my writing workflow for non-fiction. I regularly use these types of software to improve my work and check work by freelance writers who publish content on this site.
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Grammarly Review: FAQ
Does Grammarly Work?
Grammarly finds and fixes more writing errors than a traditional proofreading and grammar checker. It provides insights into the reasons behind a mistake and suggests fixes. The free and premium versions are accurate, fast and easy to use. It’s a top tool for successful writers.
Does Grammarly Cost Money?
The basic version of Grammarly is free to use. You can use it to grammar-check your writing. The premium version has additional tools for writers. It costs approximately $30 per month, but you can save money with a monthly subscription or discount.
Will Grammarly Work On A Mac?
Grammarly works on a Mac via the desktop Grammarly editor app. You can also use the Grammarly Chrome extension for Safari and the Grammarly keyboard for texts on iOS or Android.
What Is The Grammarly Cancellation Refund Policy?
If you try Grammarly Premium and don’t like it, you can visit Grammarly.com, contact Grammarly support and get your money back without issue within ten days.
How Can I Get Grammarly Premium For Free?
The base model of Grammarly is free and helpful, so use that. When you’re ready or can afford to upgrade, claim a Grammarly coupon and save 20%.
Bryan Collins runs things around here. He's also a non-fiction writer and author.
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- Ease of use
Grammarly is a powerful and effective writing assistant. If you communicate with the written word, it’s worth the subscription. It finds and fixes grammar errors faster than any other tool. We also loved its ability to write multiple sentences at a click. It’ll help most users improve their writing skills relatively quickly.
- Finds and fixes more errors than free grammar checkers
- Fast and easy to use
- Powerful AI-writing assistant
- Support for US, British English. American and Canadian English
- Faster and more accurate than competitors
- Widely available
- Free version is relatively useful
- Some writers dislike paying $30 a month for a grammar checker
- English only
- Requires internet access to work
- Try Grammarly for Free