Does Grammarly‘s free version do everything you want, and do the additional benefits of the premium version hold their value? We’ll take a look at the benefits both versions provide, demonstrate why both are valuable, and give you a clear picture of why you would want the premium over the standard version.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a Free online Proofreading Tool with paid upgrades available for those that need special features. It is also an excellent punctuation checker.
Grammar editing software and plugins have made writing clear, quality work significantly more accessible. This free proofreading tool also offers premium options.
Companies like Grammarly offer a plugin for WordPress and most browsers that check your grammar, spelling, and syntax and they’re completely free.
The upgraded, premium versions offer even more perks, like checking for sentence length, use of passive voice, optimization of word choice, and evaluating the tone of your piece.
They’ll even evaluate your writing on the various easy-reading scales to make sure that people can follow your writing, and don’t get mentally bogged down by sentence length (among other things).
But are these perks worth the investment?
How Grammarly works
When spellcheck came out in word processing programs a few decades ago, it was a huge boon.
The spelling schemes of English words, in particular, can be tricky and not consistent, so having the program check your spelling can turn disastrous writing into a quality piece.
Grammar checkers like Grammarly take that a step further, analyzing your writing for grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors.
They also check word usage to ensure sentence continuity and logic – for instance, if you use a singular noun but a plural verb, Grammarly will catch it.
Functioning as a plugin for most browsers, Grammarly evaluates your writing in real-time, so you can see when you’ve misspelled something or your sentence structure is complicated or nonsensical.
Additionally, the program keeps a tally of your errors on the bottom-right corner of the field, and you can go back through when you’re done to look at each error and how it fits (or doesn’t fit) into the text you’ve written.
It also provides an assessment of the tone of your article, with descriptions like “formal”, “optimistic”, or “uplifting”, just to name a few.
This is all available in the free version, which is a big deal because for anyone who struggles with spelling or syntax agreement in their writing,
Grammarly does an amazing job of elevating their work. Particularly for office workers who send out emails constantly or students who have papers to write, Grammarly is a solid investment, even at the free level.
How do I use Grammarly?
The best part of this entire app is how simple it is to use.
Even someone who bristles at the idea of computer jargon can easily find a version of Grammarly that works for them and install it on a handful of different platforms.
- Several different browser extensions, for Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox
- Mobile app for both Android and iOS
- Microsoft Word app
- A browser page where you can write and it evaluates your writing without having to download anything
- A desktop downloadable program
- WordPress plugin
Once installed, you’ll just need to restart your system – be it Word, your browser, or for the desktop app, your whole computer.
When you boot back up (or reopen your browser) the program will be running immediately, evaluating every piece of writing you put into any field on any program.
This includes emails, Facebook, even forms you’re filling out to renew your vehicle registration. Grammarly will ensure that everything is as clear as possible before you submit, which is a huge deal considering how simple it is to install.
Grammarly will change the way you write
At first, you will probably get annoyed at all the little red lines under your words.
Whether it’s a lack of a comma, a missing period, simple misspelling, or improper word agreement, Grammarly catches everything and this can feel somewhat bad – at first.
Over time, however, you’ll start to catch yourself as you create these small errors and correct them as you move through your copy. The most common errors Grammarly finds are:
- Spelling errors.
- Using too many adverbs – Grammarly will almost always suggest you opt for not using an adverb, especially “really” or “actually.
- Confusion of your/you’re and their/there/they’re, along with other similarly common mix-ups.
- Misusing commas, colons, semicolons, and most other punctuation.
These facts are actually pulled from Grammarly‘s database – they track writing statistics (not personal information).
Things like how much you write compared to other Grammarly users, how many errors it catches, and the most common errors. It’s fun to see your writing improve in a quantitative way and this feature provides you with that data.