Did you ever receive a comment or email from one of the blog readers pointing out a typo or grammatical mistake in your recently published article – which in your opinion, was a freshly baked masterpiece?
We all have been there. And I know, how embarrassing it feels.
You rush to fix the error before someone else notices it and read the complete article 2-3 times to make sure there are no more mistakes.
What if, this complete situation could be made easier – there was someone who could point out these mistakes and in just a few clicks, you could fix all those errors.
There’s is a tool which aims to solve the exact problem – faced by thousands of writers.
It wants to suggest improvements and minimize the errors while improving the overall readability of your article.
And as you may have already guessed, its name is Grammarly.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a proofreading tool developed to check grammatical errors and typos in your article, instantly. As soon as you move on to the next word, Grammarly will analyze the sentence and suggest changes, which makes it a perfect tool for real-time proofreading.
Additionally, it helps in vocabulary enhancements and sentence structuring, which ensures a smooth reading experience.
The best part? It has a plagiarism checker built-in (premium), which checks your writing and compares the internet to make sure no “duplicate content” issue occurs.
I have been using Grammarly for more than 24 months now and it is one of my recommended blogging tools for new bloggers.
In this post, I’m sharing complete Grammarly review based on my experience and if or not it’s a right tool for you.
Let’s start with everything it has to offer.
Grammarly Review: Field Testing the Parameters
How Accurate is Grammarly?
The first important parameter to test a proofreading tool is its accuracy. What’s the point of using it if it throws random errors and actually fails to grab the mistakes?
I have been using Grammarly for years now and have used it constantly to check every piece of article I write.
To be more specific, I was more productive than 99% of Grammarly users (an achievement worth bragging about, isn’t it?)
Earlier, it used to catch only simple typos and errors but with time it has evolved into a much efficient tool able to grab complex issues (such as sentence rearrangement) which comes handy.
To put it under the radar, Grammarly has helped me solve errors related to:
- Overuse of passive voice
- Repeating words
- Confused prepositions
- Sentence structure
- Spelling errors
- Confusing words correction (you’re to your)
Only after using Grammarly regularly, I realized that I have a common habit of missing commas in a compound section and articles.
You get such reports delivered to you every week in your email inbox which you can assess and make notes while writing next time.
Overall Grammarly has a good accuracy, especially if you aren’t a native reader and most likely miss the errors when manually proofreading.
How Easy it is to Use Grammarly?
Here’s the question:
What are all the platforms that you write and use on regular basis?
For me, I use a laptop, desktop, a smartphone regular and I might start writing on MS word, online writing portals like Calmly Writer or directly on WordPress.
Using these different devices and writing platforms, it is necessary to have a tool which can check my writing on the go and correct me irrespective of where I’m writing.
Grammarly hits the bull’s eye in this aspect and it is one of the easiest to use proofreading tool.
You can use Grammarly literally everywhere including:
- MS Office (with their Add-on)
- Browser (with Chrome extension)
- Smartphone by installing Grammarly App
- Native Grammarly writing dashboard
And the best part? It uses a personal dictionary to evaluate your writing.
Meaning you don’t see the red underline each and every time once you’ve added the word in your personal dictionary.
I give it a perfect 10/10 score for ease of use.
Does Grammarly Check for Errors Instantly?
Okay, this might come as a shocker but I prefer to not use instant grammar or spell checking.
It becomes counterproductive when your writing and frequently see errors underline. You’ll automatically start correcting the errors and lose the focus on writing.
However, for those who love to get corrected instantly, Grammarly have an almost real-time grammar and spell checking.
As soon as you finish the sentence or move to the next paragraph, it’ll analyze the previous one and show the mistakes.
But if you were to ask me, I’d suggest you disable this feature while writing and work on the content first. Let the mistakes be there and just move on with writing what’s on your mind.
Once you’ve completed the article, come back to it after few hours and enable the grammar check feature. It’ll improve your productivity and keep you from getting annoyed over silly mistakes.
You can disable Grammarly for a specific tab by clicking on “G” icon in your Chrome toolbar.
How Efficient It is for Vocabulary Enhancement?
If you’re a non-native speaker, you’d have a limited vocabulary and often find yourself in the midst of using same words over and over again (and a lot of errors in Grammarly)
As per research, native English-speaking adults understood an average of 22,000 to 32,000 vocabulary words. Also, they learn about 1 new word each day.
On the other hand, foreign test-takers who lived abroad for many years knew an average range of 11,000 to 22,000 words only.
There’s a huge difference and the results will be much lower for those who live in a non-English speaking country and generally speak in their native language.
To overcome this issue, Grammarly has a handy vocabulary enhancement feature which analyzes your writing and suggests more powerful words to use and avoid repetition.
Additionally, if you’re reading some article on the web and are not quite sure what a word means – you can double-click on it to get the meaning. It helps you from opening a new tab and searching on Google which breaks the continuity.
How Does it Compare with A Human Proofreader?
There’s a heated conversation about AI taking over human jobs and replacing them completely, I firmly believe that day is still a thing of future.
Although artificial intelligence has come a long way and have better adaptability, you can’t expect it to work similar to a human (yet.)
A human would have gone through various studies, degrees, and experience to improve his vocabulary and proofreading expertise.
Grammarly is a great tool and understands your writing pretty well. But in many cases, it will throw unwanted suggestions and ask to change things which aren’t supposed to.
It uses a predefined set of algorithms to evaluate and won’t work beyond it. Also, it does not have an understanding of the topic or the emotions which sometimes are necessary to proofread.
If you’re short on a budget and can’t afford an expert proofreader, Grammarly is a solid alternative for you. However, if you’re a professional writer writing a novel, you would want to have a real proofreader by your side.
How Many Languages are Supported by Grammarly?
This may come as a downside for many who do not write in English but want a similar tool to check other languages.
Grammarly supports four types of English:
- American English
- British English
- Canadian English
- Australian English
You can choose your preferred language under “Profile > Language Preference“ section.
If you write in any language other than English, Grammarly isn’t a tool for you.
How Good is Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker?
I forgot to mention but Grammarly comes with an in-built Plagiarism checker tool which can be used right from the Grammarly dashboard.
However, this feature is available only to premium members.
If you were using services like Copyscape to check the plagiarism score of a document, you can bid it goodbye.
I highly recommend using this feature if you outsource your content from marketplaces like ContentMart. Duplicate content will not only affect your site quality but invite troubles and accuses by the original author.
How is The Customer Support?
While I don’t have a long history of experience with Grammarly customer support, I have contacted them few times in the past (specifically when I was planning to buy Grammarly premium)
Their support team is quick to respond and in most cases answers the questions without hanging you up.
However, if you were to discuss more technical aspects, you may experience a hiccup. But, due to nature of the product, you’ll hardly ever face a major technical glitch.
The worst situation I had was when Grammarly started to lag and show unwanted errors throughout the article. I fixed it by deleting the extension and reinstalling it.
Is Grammarly Free?
No, it is not. It is a freemium (free with premium upgrade) tool.
Grammarly comes with a free plan which checks for basic grammar errors and helps you correct them, but the actual treat lies in the premium plan.
If you want to give it a try, make sure to buy the premium plan for at least 1 month before finalizing your decision of whether it’s worth your money.
Coming to the cost of using Grammarly, it is a treat to your pockets. Since it is meant for bloggers and beginner writer, the price has been set to an affordable range.
If you opt for a yearly plan (which is an obvious choice), it’ll cost you just $11.66/month. However, if you want to just test it out, there’s a monthly plan available at $29.95/month.
Here are all the pricing plans available for Grammarly premium.
Additionally, there’s a free-for-lifetime version available which is a good place to start. In the free version, you get all the basic checks including misspells and grammar errors.
With premium, you unlock 400+ checks and features (I personally don’t know about them), which includes:
- Plagiarism Checker
- Sentence Structure
- Vocabulary Enhancement
- Citation Suggestion
And more features:
How to Get Started with Grammarly
If you’re sold and want to experience Grammarly, here are the steps to walk.
- Sign up on Grammarly.com and create a free account
- Fill your profile and choose your preferred language under “Language Preference” tab
- Install the Grammarly for Chrome extension and activate it
- Open an online writing window and start writing. Make sure the plugin doesn’t show an “x” sign for the site (It doesn’t work for Google docs, Medium, etc)
- Grammarly will start showing errors which you can correct by hovering over it. To open a Grammarly window, click on the “G” logo shown on the bottom right.
- Upgrade for Grammarly Premium if you want to fix more errors and use features mentioned above
Additionally, you can install Grammarly MS Office Add-on or Native windows app by going to “Apps” on your profile dashboard.
If you were thinking that I’m trying my best to sell you Grammarly by talking about all the “grass is greener on the other side” features, you were partially wrong.
While I do recommend Grammarly to my readers and would encourage you to purchase it, I’m not all positive about my experience with Grammarly.
There are few common Grammarly complaints that I have personally faced and seen others complaint.
Grammarly peeps will try their level best to convert you into a premium subscriber even if you were just trying out the free product.
Whenever you write, it gives a warning sign showing how many advanced errors Grammarly premium has analyzed and it makes you nervous about your writing.
You’ll also receive many emails about how great Grammarly premium is with some extra discounts and scarcity factor.
Also, the 400+ checks and features we talked earlier looks more like a marketing gimmick to show what you’re missing out as a free user.
Personally, I prefer not to be told when to upgrade and let me enjoy my free product. If the free version is excellent, I’ll upgrade myself without you ever asking.
While I stick to my previous statement that Grammarly is affordable, it may not apply to every writer out there.
Many writers will be hesitant to shell out $29.95/month to try a service which may not be worth their money.
If there was a free trial or a cheaper first-month option, it’d be a great help for those uncertain and low on budget.
Also, there’s no money back guarantee or anything which can help you recover your money in case you don’t like Grammarly after paying.
Some Awkward Glitches
I don’t know whether you’ll face this issue or not, but I have faced it multiple time since I started using Grammarly.
When analyzing your articles, you’ll find Grammarly confused between two suggestions. It’ll suggest one thing and if you change and move ahead, it’ll suggest another change for the same sentence.
According to it, both are correct and hence you’ll have a hard time getting rid of that error. The only solution is to ignore it and move on but it’s only good for that session. If you happen to analyze the article again, the same error will pop up.
I don’t have a screenshot or video of this glitch as of now but will try to upload soon.
Best Grammarly Alternatives
If you aren’t convinced with Grammarly and looking for an alternative which may please you, here are few:
WhiteSmoke is another proofreading tool giving a tough competition to Grammarly with its simple UI and advanced algorithms.
I haven’t personally used it but heard good thing about it from other other bloggers who weren’t pleased with Grammarly.
The features are almost identical to that of Grammarly but there are three separate products for Windows, Web-based, and Smartphone app – each supposed to be purchased on their own.
The only real benefit of using WhiteSmoke as opposed to Grammarly is its price. It’s comparatively inexpensive.
However, do not that WhiteSmoke is less accurate, slow, and provides wrong information which is yet to be improved.
Another cool Grammarly alternative goes by the name Ginger. Although it claims to be the world’s best grammar checker tool, that’s not true at all.
The accuracy is still way low than what Grammarly provides. It has a better speed that WhiteSmoke.
Also, if you check out their site, it looks greatly inspired by Grammarly website with same visual style and ripped-off logo.
However, the pricing is again cheaper and starts at just $7.49/month for annual plans. Also, there’s a 7-days money back guarantee if in case you aren’t satisfied with their software.
If you’re looking for a completely free software which gets the job done and improves basic mistakes (including the use of passive voice and readability), Hemingway Editor is your ally.
It’s a great online tool to copy/paste your article and get an overall readability score with suggestions on how to improve.
Different types of errors are highlighted with different colors which makes it easier to process and correct for us.
Additionally, if you want to write offline, there’s a PC based software available which costs a one-time fee of $19.99
A Human Proofreader
As discussed earlier, Grammarly is not an alternative to a human proofreader and you can’t expect the same level of corrections.
A human proofreader has a lot more knowledge, experience, and emotions to understand how an article should be written. As opposed to it, Grammarly only uses a set of predefined algorithms which provides approximately 70% accuracy.
Hiring a proofreader may cost anywhere around $50 per piece to thousands of dollars a month. It all depends on how experienced is the individual.
If you’re a novel writer or professional book writer which can’t stand a simple error, hiring a proofreader is your best option. However, you can combine it with Grammarly to remove the silly mistakes and keep a digital watch on what errors are present in the article.
Using Grammarly along with human proofreaders will save you money if you’re paying on per hour basis.
There it goes. My complete and honest Grammarly review and how it has helped me become a better writer.
Being a non-native speaker, I’m quite proud of my writing skills and understanding of English. With a constant use of Grammarly, I’m able to churn out more quality articles with lesser errors.
If you’re someone who faces the same issue and doesn’t want to be constantly judged for silly mistakes, I highly recommend Grammarly.
It costs only $11.66/month which is not a hefty price to pay when comparing the value you’d receive.
Have you experienced Grammarly before or use it on a continuous basis? What is your experience with this tool and how would you rate it on a 1-5 star rating?
Leave your thoughts and experience in the comment section below. Also, if you know someone with a poor English but a struggle to improve it, share this article with them.
Lastly, pin the visuals on this article on your favorite Pinterest board.