A few years ago, I was interviewing for a Content Writer position.
As a part of the recruitment process, I had to do a live test assignment.
It was nothing special – I just had to write a few real estate listings.
When I got to their HQ, a very nice lady welcomed me and led me to a conference room. I received a laptop there, with a Word document already opened detailing my brief.
The lady wished me luck, and I was left alone with 60 minutes to do the assignment.
“Piece of cake,” I thought, reading the brief.
And then it hit me.
I don’t have Grammarly here. My precious was nowhere in sight.
How will I submit a flawless piece?
That, and more, in our Grammarly review.
A Quick Overview of Grammarly
It turns out I was better at grammar than I thought, and I could submit a good sample with no errors. I was even offered the job!
But at that moment, I realized how important Grammarly was to me.
I also thought I was too reliant on it and took a break to force myself to self-edit to the best of my abilities.
But I returned to it after a few months because it’s honestly that good.
So what is Grammarly?
There are a lot of ways to define it, so here’s one:
Grammarly is a Ukrainian-American typing assistant. It’s cross-platform, cloud-based, and it can improve your writing through suggestions about your grammar, spelling, punctuation, and many more.
It can miss the mark sometimes, sure. You have to review its suggestions, not just approve everything and think Grammarly proofread your article.
But even with its shortcomings – even with just the free version – Grammarly can help improve your writing quality.
Who am I to talk on this, you might ask.
Well, I’m no grammar expert.
But I have been using Grammarly for over 5 years.
I use it daily at my job, writing articles for Authority Hacker.
I use the Chrome extension to edit any important email I send.
And in the past, I’ve used Grammarly to edit my college essays, my dissertation, hundreds of marketing copy snippets, entire sales pages, and plenty more.
So that’s me and how Grammarly helped me.
But you might be thinking…
Do I even need a grammar checker?
Honestly, I don’t know if you do.
But I’m sure that you’ll quickly see the benefits of using a grammar checker.
And there’s no shame in that.
Experienced editors worldwide use Grammarly (or something similar) to double, triple, and quadruple-check a text.
Not because they’re incapable writers/editors – but because it’s valuable to automate some parts of the editing process.
I’m sure that if you read carefully and focused on it, you could catch 99% of Grammarly’s suggestions on your own.
But why not use that time to edit the stuff Grammarly can’t see and let it deal with the apparent errors?
I think that’d be much more convenient.
And there’s no reason not to give it a try. Even if you’re discouraged by the low $12/month cost, you can use the free version:
You don’t get as much for it, like advanced suggestions for writing mistakes.
But you still get help catching basic spelling mistakes and punctuation errors.
How You Can Use Grammarly
If you made it this far in the Grammarly review, I think you’re convinced Grammarly can be helpful.
So let’s take a look at how it works and how you’re most likely to use Grammarly.
A Suite of Browser Extensions
The Grammarly extension is one of the most helpful ones on the planet.
It can look at what you write in your browser and suggest corrections.
Yeah, it’s that simple.
It works no matter the site you’re on:
Grammarly browser extensions are also the apps you need to integrate Grammarly with other tools.
For example, Google Docs integrates seamlessly with Grammarly as long as you have the extension installed in your browser:
A browser extension will probably be your number one point of contact with Grammarly.
It’s just really convenient, easy to install, and highly effective in helping you write better.
Unfortunately, the Microsoft Edge extension has some issues.
I’ve used it for a few months, and it can run into technical problems. The ones I’ve encountered are:
- You’ll click on a recommendation, and the text won’t change (but the suggestion will disappear)
- Grammarly will stop working after a network outage (even if you’re connected to the internet)
- Recommendation underlines will show up in random places, not below the problematic word
These problems were relatively common a few months ago when I was on Edge. And I’ve experienced them on Google Chrome as well.
It’s something to keep in mind if you use the Grammarly browser extensions, especially the one for Microsoft Edge. It’s not a huge problem. A page refresh was enough to fix it. Grammarly has support articles that help solve these problems.
And no, I will not elaborate on why I was using Edge. You’ll need to live with the uncertainty for the rest of your lives.
Grammarly’s Document Editor
Grammarly has its document editor, which you can access when you log into your account on their site:
And the recommendations you get are, of course, as accurate as they would be in the extension or the Microsoft add-on.
You can also access a history of your edited documents:
And some other features, like a readability score and metrics to assess your writing style:
You also get a plagiarism checker here:
Unless you need the plagiarism checker, there’s no reason to copy and paste a text in this document editor when you can just use the browser extension.
So Grammarly’s document editor is pretty, but you won’t use it too often (if ever).
Grammarly’s Desktop App
If you’re a fan of desktop apps, you can use Grammarly on your Mac or Windows directly:
This will let you use Grammarly in things like the Slack app or the Microsoft Office Suite.
This can also be helpful if you primarily work in third-party apps.
For example, a lot of writers use Typora to create markdown documents:
For them, the Grammarly desktop app is the only way they can get grammar suggestions.
And it’s effortless to make it work. You just right-click on the Grammarly logo whenever you type something on your device.
However, don’t be misled.
While this is a desktop app, it doesn’t work offline. Grammarly is an online typing assistant, so you’ll need to be connected to the internet to get suggestions.
The Grammarly Mobile Keyboard
Grammarly also has a mobile application, which you can get both on Android and iOS:
The Grammarly app is not hard to install, but remember that you’ll also need to enable the keyboard:
When it’s on, the autocorrect can get annoying, since Grammarly makes mistakes sometimes.
But you can deactivate it:
And I highly recommend you do so.
With autocorrect off, and the app ready to go, you’ll get really helpful grammar recommendations:
Predictive text suggestions:
And even synonyms for the words you’re using, making your writing more flavorful.
However, the number and quality of suggestions you get is dependant on the Grammarly plan you’re using.
And that applies to all Grammarly apps.
Grammarly Premium vs Free: What’s The Difference?
The free version of Grammarly isn’t a trick or a free trial.
It’s a viable long-term choice. You get precious suggestions about grammar errors, spelling errors, writing style, and more without paying a dime.
Granted, these are corrections for basic grammar mistakes.
So if you want more, you’ll need to pay for Grammarly Premium:
It comes down to $12/month when you pay for an entire year. That’s not a lot.
Especially considering what you get.
Beyond basic grammar corrections, Grammarly premium tries to emulate a human editor and help you with sentence structure, content flow, word choice, and plenty more.
Oh, and before I forget. Grammarly also offers a Business plan:
But this is only relevant if you run a big editorial team or want to create your writing style for Grammar checking tools. Other than that, the standard Premium version is enough. Even if you need a personal dictionary, just the free version is enough.
Should You Invest In Grammarly Premium?
I think you should. The amount of additional features and suggestions you get in Grammarly Premium is insane.
Let me give you an example.
Take the draft I’m working on right now for the Grammarly review.
The free version of Grammarly has 34 suggestions on how I could improve the article:
The Premium version of Grammarly has over 180:
And from my experience, this can scale with how long your article is.
When I’m writing this, the draft is about 4500 words long.
For me, most articles of 3000+ words come with 20 free suggestions and 70-80 premium suggestions.
Sure, not all of them are right.
That’s why they’re suggestions. Sometimes, Grammarly is wrong.
But the recommendations you get with the Premium version are invaluable. Especially when you consider the small Grammarly cost. So yes, I think Grammarly Premium is worth it.
If you’re not sold, I think you will be once you see a thorough breakdown of its features.
Grammarly Features: What You Get For Your Money
Grammarly helps improve your spelling and grammar. It’s helpful even for professional writers.
I think these things are clear by now.
But to understand just how effective Grammarly Premium (and the accessible version of Grammarly) is, I want to delve deeper into its features.
With 5 years of experience using the tool, I’ve got a knack for how each of them works.
So I’m excited to show you what it can do.
Core Grammar Checker (Correctness)
Grammarly’s core feature – its correctness tool – makes spelling, grammar, and punctuation suggestions.
And these spelling and grammar suggestions are good.
You also have more functionality with the personal dictionary you can add terms to:
Not much else to mention here, honestly.
The correctness feature of Grammarly is helpful, and it’s available both in the premium subscription and for free.
If you want to get nit-picky, you can say that the recommendations aren’t always perfect.
And that’s true.
Sometimes, Grammarly will recommend a change that doesn’t make sense.
Other times, Grammarly might not even flag a mistake. This can happen when something is spelled correctly, but doesn’t match the context it’s in.
But all in all, the correctness feature is functional and really helpful at correcting writing mistakes, spelling and grammar, and punctuation errors.
Conciseness and Clarity
Clarity recommendations are the ones underlined with blue, and these help you make your text more readable:
Clarity suggestions usually revolve around making a text flow better. A common recommendation I get is removing “really” and “actually” from my content:
But clarity corrections can also suggest a more straightforward wording for a phrase:
When you get the premium version of Grammarly, you’ll also get suggestions for hard-to-read sentences, and how you can reword them to make your text flow smoother.
And this feature is really helpful.
Not only do you get entire sentences highlighted, and an explanation for why they’re wrong.
You can also solve the problem in a single click, because Grammarly takes the message of your sentence, and rephrases it so it’s more clear.
Engagement corrections can sometimes coincide with clarity recommendations.
But they’re different because Grammarly’s engagement functionality analyzes your text as a whole, and makes suggestions for improvement based on your entire work.
More specifically, suggestions for improving engagement.
For example, an engagement correction I sometimes get is to replace wordy phrases.
Grammarly’s engagement filter might also suggest improvements for monotonous passages, or blank words.
It sounds a lot like Clarity suggestions right?
Here’s a good way to differentiate between the features:
Clarity will suggest you replace a word like “really” because it’s a cliche in English, and it’s probably not crucial to your message.
Engagement will suggest you replace a word like “If” because you used it at the beginning of numerous consecutive sentences.
Tone Adjustment And Other Delivery Suggestions
Delivery recommendations are underlined in purple, and they’re closely tied to your document’s writing goals (more about them in a bit).
These recommendations help you maintain a consistent tone, style, and overall delivery in your writing:
I think this is one of the most underrated features of Grammarly.
At least for me, it has always been very helpful, especially for longer articles that I write over the course of a few days.
It’s easy to lose track of how you want to deliver a message when you’re writing over 4000 words.
Grammarly helps. Well, Grammarly Premium helps. This is a bit more than just correcting spelling mistakes or writing errors.
Synonyms and Other Advanced Suggestions
Besides engagement and delivery, premium users also get tons more features.
For example, the writing assistant might suggest synonyms to add more flavor yo your text:
This is really helpful to avoid cliches in your content.
So with the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m going to say it again:
Grammarly Premium is worth it.
Especially if you’re a writer and you want to get your content as close to publish-ready as possible, on your own.
Sure, Grammarly will never replace an editor.
But it’s the third pair of metaphorical eyes.
For how much Grammarly costs – just $12/month – that sounds like a good deal to me.
Some Grammarly suggestions aren’t based on grammar rules, but rather on goals about the document you’re editing.
To access these goals, click on the bullseye arrow:
This will give you options to edit some goals about your document:
Audience – Choose who the content is for, from expert, knowledgable and neutral audiences. This will help you integrate the right amount of technical terms into your article.
Formality – Choose between formal, informal, and neutral. This will help you with style and delivery suggestions, to maintain a consistent tone.
Domain – This offers more choices, relating to the medium you’re writing for. Academic, business, and creative writing all have their particularities. And Grammarly can adapt to that. Only available in the paid version.
Intent – Choose between different goals of your writing – whether to inform an audience, describe something, persuade an audience, or tell a story.
The core Grammarly suggestions don’t change too much based on these goals.
In fact, for the longest time, I used Grammarly without knowing that these writing goals even existed.
And I still got very valuable suggestions.
But if you take the 5 extra minutes to customize these goals, you can get better recommendations, especially for clarity, engagement, and delivery.
Grammarly is really helpful when you’re writing academic content.
That medium is much more rigorous than the blogosphere.
So a plagiarism checker built into Grammarly is a godsend:
Unfortunately, you’re only able to use this in Grammarly’s dedicated document editor.
So it’s not as convenient as the core features.
But it can really come in handy.
And not just for academic content. If you start outsourcing content and you don’t know which content writer to trust, Grammarly is really helpful.
You don’t just get help editing their content – but an integrated plagiarism checker as well.
If you love numbers, you’ll love Grammarly’s metrics.
They’re only accessible from the Grammarly document editor. But they give you tons of data about your document, including:
- Word count
- Reading time
The scores, like the readability one, aren’t absolute values.
If it’s not perfect, don’t fret about it.
It doesn’t mean your article isn’t publish-ready, or that you should edit anything.
But if it’s really low, that can indicate the need to switch things up a bit.
If you get Grammarly Business, you can also check these metrics, and get reports about your team.
All in all, these are Grammarly’s features. Well, most of them.
But how do these all fit together?
Keep reading our Grammarly review to find out.
Grammarly Interface and Ease of Use
Grammarly’s interface differs quite a lot depending on what tool you use.
The Google Docs Chrome extension can look like this:
It can also be as inconspicuous as this:
On the other hand, the Grammarly document editor is pretty complex:
But there is a constant.
All of them are easy to use. Whether you use the desktop app, the mobile keyboard, or the Google docs integration, they’re all intuitive and convenient.
You’re just writing, and you get a suggestion to fix grammar errors:
Not only that, but you also get explanations on why you’d want to change the highlighted piece of content.
So even if you’re not too good at grammar, you get all the guidance you need to improve your text.
And honestly, all of this is even educational.
If you’re a beginner writer, Grammarly can help you develop your skills. If you stop to read all recommendations and try to understand your grammar mistakes, you’ll see your writing slowly get better.
So all in all, Grammarly is really pretty.
So what do you do if any of this doesn’t work for you? How good is Grammarly’s support?
Grammarly Support – Can You Rely On It?
For a short answer – yes.
Grammarly support is pretty good.
You get a comprehensive knowledge base with guides and FAQs:
You don’t have to scroll through it though, you can just search for what you need:
If you don’t find the help you need, you can also send a ticket to Grammarly:
The response time is pretty good, and you get valuable information from Grammarly support agents.
So kudos to this grammar checker for good support!
Pros: What Grammarly Gets Right
So far, we looked extensively at Grammarly’s features, different applications, and how it can improve your writing.
So let’s sum it all up and see what it gets right.
I think the most important perk of Grammarly is its core grammar corrections. The day to day suggestions you get will work wonders in improving your content:
No matter what you write, and for whom.
Other perks include the premium recommendations you’ll get, as they’ll help your text maintain consistency, clarity, and engagement.
Grammarly’s convenience is also great.Whether you write in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Slack, or drafting social media posts, Grammarly is there to help.
And it will shortly become clear why I’m praising Grammarly for this.
None of Grammarly’s competitors manage to offer so many high-quality grammar recommendations and integrate so seamlessly into your content creation process.
From the Chrome extension and desktop app to the Grammarly keyboard, this grammar checking tool is just extremely easy to use.
Lastly, Grammarly’s pricing is also a very strong suit.
It’s on the expensive side of grammar tools.
But not ludicrously pricey.
And what you get for the money is definitely worth it.
Downsides: What Can Grammarly Improve
We’ve praised Grammarly for most of this article, so now let’s take a step back and be more critical,
For starters, it’s important to note that not all recommendations Grammarly gives are accurate.
Sometimes (a lot of times) you’ll just need to click on the “dismiss” button:
And this can get really annoying when the same recommendation comes back up again when you open the document later.
But it’s important to stay comparative here.
All grammar correction tools can mess up. That’s why all of them work based on recommendations, not autocorrect.
Well, except for the Grammarly keyboard, but you can deactivate the autocorrect there, so it’s ok.
On top of misfires, Grammarly can also miss errors because it doesn’t have human-level editing skills. Something might be spelled correctly, but put in the wrong context.
Grammarly won’t point it out because it can’t tell it’s in the wrong place.
Moreover, Grammarly’s browser extension can get buggy at times.
And I’ve experienced this A LOT when using Grammarly on Microsoft Edge.
But a refresh is usually enough to make it work. If not, an update might be in order.
And that’s about it.
Grammarly is a really good tool. It’s hard to find downsides.
Grammarly Versus The Competition: Is It Still A Viable Choice?
Grammarly shines especially when compared to its competitors.
I’m not saying other grammar tools are bad! Quite the opposite.
You can get amazing results with something like ProWritingAid and WhiteSmoke.
However, all of these tools fall behind in some areas. Only Grammarly manages to offer a well-rounded service.
But let’s get into our comparisons to understand why.
Grammarly vs ProWritingAid
Last year I took a break from Grammarly. For a few months, I only used ProWritingAid. So I know a few things about how it works.
Let’s start with the good stuff.
ProWritingAid has more features, and a lot of those are of higher quality than what you get in Grammarly.
At its core, it’s more or less the same tool. You get recommendations for grammar, spelling, and style improvements on your text:
But ProWritingAid goes much more in-depth with over 20 specialized reports:
Granted, a lot of these writing tools also exit in Grammarly, but they’re presented differently.
For example, the Thesaurus and Overused reports give you recommendations for synonyms and replacements for words that are overused in your text.
Grammarly has these features as well.
An area where ProWritingAid really stands out though is helping you improve readability.
Whenever you edit a text in ProWritingAid, you get a few scores on the right side of the screen:
Compared to Grammarly, these are much easier to spot and help you understand how readable your text is at any given point.
Unfortunately, all of these complex features and reports shape up to be quite a double-edged sword.
Sure, you get tons of recommendations with 20 goals in mind.
But that can really clutter your screen, and slow down your editing process.
And ultimately this is what Grammarly vs ProWritingAid boils down to.
Sure, ProWritingAid generates more reports. And most of the time, its suggestions are on par (if not even better) than those of Grammarly.
But its interface is arguably worse.
And it’s not as easy to use ProWritingAid to the same extent as you do Grammarly.
To be fair though, ProWritingAid is almost half the price of Grammarly when you pay for a full year. So if you’re fine with a not-so-perfect tool at a better price, you can try ProWritingAid.
Grammarly vs WhiteSmoke
WhiteSmoke is a veteran in the typing assistant scene. It’s been around since 2002, and it’s still a popular alternative to Grammarly.
It’s not too different from ProWritingAid. The core grammar tips and corrections it offers are good.
What’s different is the templates section.
WhiteSmoke has dozens of templates for things like cover letters, or emails. The typing improvement suggestions you get vary from template to template.
Another important thing to note is that WhiteSmoke also has support for 55 languages. That’s a huge bump from just English.
So if you need a grammar checker with support for another language (or even multiple languages) WhiteSmoke is probably the best option out there.
But again, it’s much less convenient and harder to use than Grammarly.
So the best option for a quick and easy grammar check is still Grammarly. As long as you’re writing in the English language.
Grammarly vs Ginger
Ginger is very similar to WhiteSmoke.
Like Grammarly, it has a ton of apps and extensions you can integrate into your workflow to get helpful grammar tips.
More so than WhiteSmoke.
Ginger also uses NLP to help emulate the input of a human editor on your text, so you can get quite advanced suggestions for improvement if you use Ginger.
The biggest benefit though is the number of languages supported.
Ginger works in over 60 languages, which makes it a very viable alternative to both Grammarly, and WhiteSmoke.
Not to mention, the price is more or less exactly the same as that of Grammarly.
So if you need support for multiple languages, Ginger might be the best pick for you.
Grammarly vs Writer.com
If you want a very cheap alternative to Grammarly (and especially the Grammarly Business plan), Writer.com is probably the best choice for you.
It’s not as advanced as Grammarly or ProWritingAid.
Although their suggestions are not bad by any means.
The thing about Writer.com though is that it supports much more customization.
Like in Grammarly Business, users of Writer.com can create their own style guide to dictate how Writer.com corrects your content.
If you want a grammar checker for your fledgling editorial team, Writer.com can be a cheaper alternative than Grammarly.
Even if it’s not as good with its suggestions.
Grammarly vs Virtual Writing Tutor
Virtual Writing Tutor advertises the same benefits you get in Grammarly.
And honestly, they deliver pretty well on these promises.
Not as good as Grammarly, sure.
But the reason Virtual Writing Tutor is on this list is for its educational perks:
Most notably, it helps people for whom English is not their first language develop their English writing skills.
If want to improve your English while writing for an online audience, Virtual Writing Tutor can come in handy.
You can even use it as a teacher to help you assess student assignments.
Conclusion: Should You Get Grammarly Premium?
Yes, I think Grammarly Premium is definitely worth it, and you should get it. If you can afford Grammarly, it’ll help you immensely when you write ANYTHING.
Sure, the tool has some hiccups here and there.
And there are alternatives, most notably Pro Writing Aid and WhiteSmoke.
But Grammarly is still an amazing typing assistant. And even if you can’t get the Premium version, Grammarly free is still very helpful.
Can Grammarly Be Trusted?
Grammarly can be trusted. If you need an effective typing assistant and grammar checker, you can’t go wrong with Grammarly.
Some suggestions may be wrong at times. It happens. But that’s a reality with all grammar checkers. So if you want a high-quality, easy to use grammar assistant, you can trust Grammarly.
What are the cons of Grammarly?
Grammarly can miss the mark with their suggestions sometimes. Grammarly can often recommend you change spelling, punctuation, or a crucial word, even if they’re correct.
Conversely, Grammarly can forget to flag mistakes sometimes.
Moreover, the browser extension can get buggy. But all of these problems are easy to navigate.
Is there anything better than Grammarly?
There are a lot of apps that come close to Grammarly. Pro Writing Aid, for example, is a very strong alternative.
And if you need help editing content in other languages, Ginger or WhiteSmoke are both better than Grammarly.
But generally, for flawless English content, I recommend Grammarly Premium.
Grammarly can be a godly helping hand. But should you pay for Grammarly Premium? Find out in our Grammarly review!
Price Currency: $
Application Category: Chrome Extension