Does Grammarly Work?

What is Grammarly?

does grammarly work - business english success - logo

Grammarly is an online error-detection and correction tool that improves communication by helping people find and correct their writing mistakes. Not only does Grammarly suggest corrections, it explains the reasoning behind the suggestion.

There are three parts to consider:

  • the browser plugin
  • the MS Word plugin
  • the standalone application

The browser plugin is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The installation is very simple, a matter of a mouse click or two and it’s installed and working. Whenever you’re using the browser and type anything in, it is checked in real-time. Errors are underlined in red and suggestions are given when you mouse-over the error.

The MS Word plugin adds functionality to Word and Outlook and works in a similar way to the browser plugin. For some reason that is not 100% clear to me, when Grammarly is activated in Word and Outlook, the ctrl+z undo feature is disabled, as is the auto-save functionality. Forewarned is forearmed.

The standalone application is a standard windows application, with the same familiar functionality and features of the plugins mentioned previously.


How does Grammarly work?

English grammar does not lend itself to the simple application of rules. It is far too complex for that. Rather than a rule-based system, grammar checkers use pattern-matching. This can lead to false positives, which is why you have to know what you’re doing. Grammarly is a tool and as such, needs to used properly.

For the user, it’s not necessary to know exactly how Grammarly works – you can still drive a car without being a mechanic. It is necessary to know that there will probably never be a grammar checker that is 100% reliable. This is why you need to know what your text is about and make intelligent decisions concerning the Grammarly suggestions. If you do this, you will benefit enormously from using it.

As mentioned above, it checks the text and highlights any potential errors. I’ve introduced a few errors into the text above and taken a screenshot, so you can see what to expect.

does grammarly work - business english success - screenshot

As you can see, there are three genuine errors that have been found, with correct suggestions. It is possible to get more information about the error, which is shown like this:

does grammarly work - business english success - screenshot

In this way, you have the opportunity to improve your grammar, rather than simply correcting it.

To accept the suggestion, simply click on it and your text will be updated. For false positives, click the ignore button.


Who is Grammarly for?

does grammarly work - business english success - who for

Let’s start with who it’s not for. It’s not for anyone looking to replace a human proofreader for important documents.

Glad we got that out of the way.

Basically, Grammarly is for anyone who wishes to add another tool to help them improve their written English. Here are a few concrete examples.

  • Students can use it to improve the quality of their assignments
  • Teachers can check that the students have provided original content
  • Web-site authors and bloggers improve not only their writing but also their SEO rankings
  • Job applicants can improve their job prospects
  • Affiliate marketers create better copy which results in better conversions
  • Anyone on social media who wants to make a better impression

These are just examples, I’m sure you can think of others.


What does Grammarly cost?

There are two levels, namely the free and the premium. The free is exactly that. They don’t require any form of payment and you can use the free version as long as you like.

The premium does have extra functionality, such as a plagiarism detector and vocabulary enhancer. These can be useful for academics and/or teachers checking for copy-and-paste cowboys.

The premium version price depends on how often you want to pay. The table below shows the various options.

does grammarly work - business english success - prices

 


Summary

Grammarly is an extremely useful tool and can be highly recommended.

The free version of Grammarly is definitely worth installing. The errors that it catches are going to help you a lot. Whether you upgrade to the full version or remain with the free version is a decision that only you can make. If you write a lot of text, you will probably want to upgrade.

Just bear in mind that the best hammer in the world is no use when you need to insert a screw. In a similar way, Grammarly is a great tool, but you do have to use it properly. Don’t just blindly accept the suggestions without knowing what you’re doing. It is also worth repeating that tools of this nature will NOT replace an experienced proofreader.

Do you use Grammarly, or have a question? Please use the comments box below.

26 Comments

  1. Neil

    Grammarly is a really useful tool and it certainly does work because I use it on my blog daily, and it’s a godsend.

    Not only is it one of the best spell checkers I’ve ever used, but really does help to save a lot of time and helps with punctuation as well, so content flows nicely for the readers.

    Thanks for reviewing such a fantastic tool that benefits anyone who writes online – from WordPress blogs to social media status updates to emails, etc.

    Neil

  2. Wow. Quite interesting. We’re homeschoolers and I think that I can use this. This was very informative. I had no idea that something like this was available. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  3. I absolutely love Grammarly. I use it when writing all of my blogs or anything else and is such a handy tool. I couldn’t go without it now and consider it to be my “little writing buddy”. I’ve been heavily deciding on whether or not to upgrade to the premium version. I’m sure that I would love the paid version but just have to take that plunge.

  4. Hy Derek,
    I am an old user of Grammarly and it does help me a lot in writing as I am not a native English speaker.
    But I was wondering whether I should depend 100% on Grammarly or not?
    And your post has given me the answers.
    Thanks for sharing

  5. Sounds like a great tool for me as I am a blogger. Can you tell me what I can exactly get for the free version? I would like to try it but am not prepared to pay for it until I get a feel of it.

    • Hi Owain,
      Thanks for your question. Both version have the grammar and spell checker, as browser plugin, Word plugin and standalone application.
      The paid version goes deeper into the grammar checking and has additional stuff, like the plagiarism detector and style advisor.
      I would suggest you install the free version and see how it goes.
      Please feel free to ask if you need any further information.

  6. Hi Derek,
    Thanks for the post. I also use Grammarly. I have the browser plugin installed in my home computer which is great. When I’m typing post for my site it catches the little mistakes such as forgotten commas and extra spaces as well as any other mistakes. It even works when I’m writing comments on WA.

    You are correct, you need to know your stuff and think about your content before making the suggested corrections.

    I think it’s a great tool.

  7. Very useful tool and I have used it also. Great review capturing all the highlights this product will do. Thanks for this, really well done:)
    Peter

  8. Derek,

    Thank you for sharing this. I am always opening up word and transferring stuff back and forth.

    This would save me so much time.

    I like how grammarly gives you the reasoning behind the connection. It is always nice to know why.

  9. Grammarly is one of the cool things to have ever happened in the recent time of internet booming legacy.

    It is good somebody like you giving a tutorial like this to let people globally take advantage of the certain stuff off the internet that might help them daily.

  10. Isn’t it nice to have such useful tools and technology? I think so.

    I thought I knew a thing or two about keeping my grammar in line before I had the Grammarly extension on my toolbar, but now it keeps me in constant check, and I realize there’s definitely room for improvement. (of course)

    What I’ve noticed is that I will try and make sure I don’t make the mistakes that Grammarly is going to pick up, so it has turned into a tool for education rather than just repair.

  11. Hi Derek, thanks for this.

    I have been using Grammarly for a while now, I use the browser extension and the desktop version too.

    I find it very useful, I also use MS Word for more formal documents, but I prefer to use Grammarly for general stuff and for writing out the main content of things, then I paste it into Word to tidy up the layouts.

    Best wishes

    Neil

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