Grammarly Review: Is This Grammar Checker Worth It?

This Grammarly review explores how it can help avoid embarrassing typos and grammatical errors. I also cover if Grammarly is the most accurate grammar checker available? And is it worth paying for?

A few years ago, I discovered Grammarly, a grammar and spelling checker for proofreading articles, book chapters and blog posts. As an author and a freelance writer, I use it regularly for proofreading my work – and it works like a charm.

Best Grammar Checker
Grammarly
$30

Grammarly is a top spelling, grammar and plagiarism checker. It'll help you find and fix errors fast, and it works everywhere. The free trial is useful too.

Become a Writer Today is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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In this Grammarly review, I focused on the premium version of Grammarly as I've had a subscription for several years. That said, you can watch videos where I show the differences between both versions and cover some of the latest updates.

What Does Grammarly Do?

Grammarly review is this grammar checker worth it

Grammarly is a writing tool that helps you check for several types of errors.

Grammar and punctuation
It detects grammar and punctuation mistakes – basic to advanced. It also provides real-time suggestions and guidelines on how to correct these mistakes, for example, errant commas.

Spell check
It’s also a robust spell-check tool that keeps your writing mistake-free.

Plagiarism
Grammarly detects plagiarism, by comparing your writing to billions of web pages across the web. This is useful for anyone writing essays, freelance writers, editors and content publishers.

Writing style
It will also help you self-edit your work by providing real-time insights about your Grammarly readability score, sentence length and so on. This is extremely helpful for adapting your genre-specific writing style for a particular audience.

Readability
Grammarly scans clunky sentences, paragraphs and passages. Then, using AI technology it will propose rewrites that are more concise and clearer for the reader. I’ve yet to find a comparable feature in another writing tool.

Who is This Grammar Checker Good For?

Grammarly is useful for both native english speakers and those who don't write in the english language that often. People who use Grammarly include:

  • Bloggers
  • Content marketers and copywriters
  • Authors
  • Academics interested in plagiarism detection
  • Any business professional who wants to draft an accurate report, presentation, email or social media post.
  • Students
  • Anyone who writes in English often

For new writers and professional writers, this grammar checker acts as another line of defence, even if they are native English speakers.

Plus Grammarly offers settings specific to Canadian English, American English, British English, Australian English and more. You can use it to make sure your book, article or blog post is accurate and easy to read.

The premium version is also useful for students who may have a batch of work they want to check. You can take out a subscription for a month, check your work and then cancel if you need to.

That said, be careful to check that you're not violating any rules and regulations set by your university or school.

If you're running a business, check out our Grammarly Business review.

How Grammarly Premium Works

Once you create a Grammarly account for free, take a tour of the Grammarly editor, which was updated recently.

Below is the Grammarly Dashboard (premium version). It provides you with helpful suggestions on your writing quickly, making your writing clear and precise.

grammarly dashboard
The Grammarly Desktop Dashboard

Adapting Grammarly to Your Writing Style

You can adjust Grammarly’s feedback according to your genre-specific writing style – informal, formal and so on. When you open a new document, set a goal for your writing.

The Grammarly goals feature
The Grammarly Goals feature

You can set writing goals based on your:

  • Intent e.g., inform, tell a story or describe
  • 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 insights based on these goals.

Using the Tool

There are several ways to use the Grammarly software to review your work, and you don’t need any technical know-how to do it. Here are the most common ones :

Option 1
Copy and paste your entire article, book or extracts of your writing into Grammarly for proofreading, grammar checking and for spell check.

Option 2
By clicking on ‘Import,’ you can also upload a Microsoft Word document into Grammarly.

Option 3
You can actually use Grammarly as your primary writing app, by writing directly in the tool. As you type, Grammarly will automatically start pointing out errors. Once you click on the “Correct with Assistant” button, Grammarly will show you the errors.

Grammarly chrome extension
Using the Grammarly Chrome extension

Option 4
Windows users can also install a Grammarly plugin on MS Word, which will help you detect errors as you write. This plugin isn’t available for MS Word in Macbooks.

Grammarly Suggestions

A few seconds after you incorporate your text, this proofreading tool underlines grammar mistakes similar to what you see in Microsoft Word.

Grammarly Premium also provides more detailed suggestions than the free version (or Word) about why you made a writing mistake such as errors in sentence structure.

This is particularly useful if you're a non-native English writer or if you want to improve your knowledge of English language grammar rules. There's a Grammarly handbook filled with grammar tips if you need more help.

However, you should still exercise judgment before deciding what to fix and what to leave. Grammarly offers you tools to provide insights about your content such as –

  • A basic grammar checker tool for active/passive voice, wordiness and punctuation
  • An accurate spell-checker
  • A vocabulary tool along with a readability score
  • Reading time estimations
  • Sentence structure analysis

One of Grammarly’s new features analyzes the Flesch reading level ease of your text – it estimates what level of education a person needs to read your content easily.

Grammarly AI-powered Writing Assistant

I particularly like this AI-powered feature. It proposes rewrites of clunky text that I can apply at a click. However, this feature is for premium users and only accessible via the desktop app.

Grammarly writing assistant
See the proposed rewrite to the side, I can apply with one click

The Plagiarism Detector

Included in your Grammarly account, is a plagiarism checker, which can be useful if you’re writing academic content or reviewing a peer’s work.

Bloggers and content marketers find this very useful. It allows them to check if they have inadvertently copied text from their research sources and then forgotten to edit their content to make the text original.

It’s also a good tool if you’ve written an article and can’t remember your sources. Grammarly will check online for your text and provide links that you can add.

This feature might also appeal to college students who are concerned about citing too heavily from their sources, without proper attribution.

Is Grammarly Easy to Use?

Thanks to the apps for Windows and Mac, the web Grammarly extension and even mobile ones, it takes only a few minutes to install Grammarly and make this real-time grammar and spelling checker part of your writing workflow.

If you can post on Facebook, you can use Grammarly Premium or the free version to check your social media posts.

I will explain my workflow for the purposes of this Grammarly review, but don't worry too much about what I do. Instead, focus on how you write!

Here's my workflow.

  • Write a draft in Scrivener, IA Writer, or in Google docs via Chrome
  • Paste my draft into Grammarly Premium for Mac
  • Self-edit based on Grammarly‘s feedback
  • Send the draft to an editor if it's a longer piece of text
  • Publish

It takes me only a few minutes to check my articles, and there are no technical headaches.

Where to Use Grammarly

Grammarly graphical user interface
A few Grammarly Apps

Grammarly works wherever you are: they have desktop apps along with a Grammarly extension for your web browser. It works everywhere with apps and add-ons for Chrome, Outlook, Microsoft Word, Mac, iOS and Android.

You can use a number of different proofreading apps including:

  • Grammarly MS Office add-in
  • A Grammarly Chrome web app that works much like Google Docs
  • A Grammarly Chrome plugin (this is the easiest option for new users)
  • Grammarly desktop app for Mac
  • Grammarly desktop app for Windows
  • Grammarly for iOS
  • Grammarly for Android

Over the past few years, the Grammarly desktop apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and so on were updated.

Their team also improved their user experience and added a number of additional features like writing insights and setting writing goals.

I don't use the Grammarly Microsoft Office plugin that much, as I use Scrivener and a number of other writing apps for almost all of my work.

Instead, I prefer finalising my writing elsewhere before pasting into Grammarly for a final check. However, if you write in Microsoft Word, the Grammarly Word add-in can be useful.

My preference is the Grammarly for Mac desktop app and also the Grammarly for Chrome web app.

I also use the Grammarly Chrome extension to check shorter pieces of writing, like emails and potentially embarrassing social media posts.

The company offers you a specialized Grammarly keyboard for mobile devices so you can apply the tool to your writing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, and other web pages and platforms you type on.

With this, you can enable Grammarly checking on most apps on your phone automatically – which makes creating mistake-free text and documents a breeze. The best part about this is that the Grammarly keyboard tool is free!

How Much Does Grammarly Cost?

Here are the Grammarly pricing options as of this year:

You could always try the free version of Grammarly in case you want to test it out first (Like I did!).

Sweet right?

Grammarly Free Vs Grammarly Premium

The free version contains most of the features of Grammarly Premium apart from an advanced grammar checker, a plagiarism detector and some vocabulary enhancement suggestions.

In other words, the free version is ideal for writers and bloggers with a minimal budget for writing tools.

If you're wondering what do you get with Grammarly Premium, it provides detailed information about each of your grammar mistakes in the pop-up box.

It also provides additional writing insights and an ability to set writing goals. It also finds and fixes more mistakes than the free version.

You can take out a premium monthly, quarterly or annual subscription and claim discounts for each type of subscription. I currently pay for a quarterly premium subscription as this strikes me as a nice balance between affordability and managing my expenses.

If you want a 20% discount on top of these prices, I've negotiated this Grammarly discount for you.

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 features like –

  • Admin and user management controls for privacy and security of your team’s work
  • Priority 24/7 email support
  • Centralized billing
  • Monitoring tools for checking engagement trends

Grammarly for Business could be a viable option if you’re a team in need of a grammar and spell checker tool. Read our review of Grammarly Business

How Accurate is Grammarly and How Can It Help Writers?

When you click on a grammar error in your text, the grammar checker tool presents an explanation of the problem. All you have to do is click on the arrow to find out more about the suggestions.

It identifies possible solutions and explanations for your mistake. Grammarly helped me identify:

  • Confused prepositions
  • Overuse of the passive voice
  • Wordy sentences
  • Incorrect comma usage
  • Repetitive words
  • Common writing and grammar mistakes like misplaced apostrophes
  • Spelling errors
  • Lengthy sentences to edit down
  • Any other grammar rules that I may have overlooked

It gets better:

After using this grammar checker on several articles and book chapters, I found out I’ve a bad habit of ending sentences with prepositions.

I’m also guilty of using the occasional squinting modifier (pictured below).

Yes, these are finer points of grammar but knowing my bad habits helped me tune up my writing.

The built-in grammar checkers in Microsoft Word, Scrivener and Pages didn’t provide me with this insight, and over the past few years this grammar checker has helped me improve my writing skills.

Here you can see what happened in the pop-up box when I pasted this post into Grammarly.

Grammarly Example
An example of how Grammarly works

Grammarly vs. a Human Proofreader

You might be wondering, can Grammarly replace a human proofreader?

After writing this Grammarly review, my answer is no.

Grammarly overlooked several mistakes, particularly in my creative writing and fiction. This may be (<— there’s a squinting modifier!) because my fiction is more difficult to understand than my non-fiction.

It doesn’t always provide the context or feedback that a human proofreader offers.

Now:

You can use the Grammarly dashboard to send your work to a human proofreader for USD.02 a word.

I didn’t test this feature as I work directly with an editor and proofreader.

Whether or not you’re using Grammarly, take the time to either print out and proofread what you’ve written or give it to another person to check.

That means paying a professional proofreader if you’re writing a book. By all means, rely on Grammarly for shorter pieces of text and for adhering to commonly accepted grammar rules.

How Effective is Grammarly for Proofreading English?

A number of non-english writers emailed me asking this question…

Readers of this post also left a number of comments and suggestions below looking for more information.

Well…

I live an hour outside Dublin and British English is one 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 really value Grammarly‘s ability to proofread and grammar check a document for both types of English, and I use this feature often.

Still, you will need some understanding of English to use or write in Grammarly. There’s a Grammarly handbook with helpful grammar tips to assist you if you’re having trouble with the language.

Here's the bottom line for non-english native speakers:

If English is your first language, Grammarly is a useful 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…

Please remember, it's an aid for learning English grammar rather than a teacher of English.

Should You Get Grammarly Premium?

If you've read this far into this review of Grammarly, my answer is yes but…

If you're a writer on a budget, install the free Chrome browser extension and test it for yourself. It contains all the functionality you need to get started.

(Don't worry, they also offer free Grammarly web browser extensions for other platforms like Firefox, Safari, Edge, etc.)

That's what I did!

I spent months using the free Grammarly online editor without issue, before writing this review of Grammarly. That was over four years ago and I was a writer with almost no money to spend on his craft or on online proofreading tools.

Eventually, I paid for a three-month subscription to Grammarly Premium as I was writing a number of freelance articles and chapters for a book. I also had a modest budget to spend on tools.

Today, I still use the premium version to check early drafts of blog posts and articles and also to check book chapters for grammar mistakes.

I also rely on a Grammarly web browser extension like the Grammarly Chrome plugin to check my emails, posts for social media and so on.

The Grammarly online editor will help you check for grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes faster. You still need to take the time to learn the fundamentals of grammar.

That said online proofreading tools are great but…

I value a set of digital eyes on my writing, but I still work with human proofreaders, particularly for book chapters or a longer document.

See How I Use Grammarly

In this original video, which I recorded several years ago, I explain how Grammarly can help writers and review some of its key features. I also talk about the differences between the free and premium versions.

Grammarly has changed a lot since then. It has released several updates that can help you proofread a piece of writing more efficiently. These include:

  • Rich text formatting and editing (useful for copying and pasting text)
  • Tone of voice detection (useful for non-fiction writers, academics and bloggers)
  • An ideal audience feature
  • More insights for your performance score
  • Advanced writing goals
  • Basic correctness and clarity detection
  • A consistency checker e.g. did you write 9 a.m. or 9AM?

Some of these are free and some are premium features. In this new Grammarly video, I walk through the latest updates and how I'm using them to proofread my work.

What about Other Proofreading Tools?

After I published this Grammarly review, several people emailed me asking what about WhiteSmoke, ProWritingAid and Ginger and how they compare to Grammarly?

So in this video, I compare these tools against Grammarly. I also test it against Word's inbuilt grammar checking tool to see how well they do against grammatical errors.

If you'd like to learn more, read our ProWritingAid vs Grammarly comparison.

Best Grammar Checker
Grammarly
$30

Grammarly is a top spelling, grammar and plagiarism checker. It'll help you find and fix errors fast, and it works everywhere. The free trial is useful too.

Become a Writer Today is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Our Testing Criteria

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 app and the desktop app. These articles and other writing samples range from several hundred to several thousand words in length.

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 key part of my writing workflow for non-fiction. I use these types of software regularly to improve my own work and also to check work by freelance writers who publish content on this site.

Grammarly Review: The Bottom Line

Grammarly is a useful and affordable writing tool that belongs in your toolbox. Whether you're a blogger, author, business writer, it'll help you find and fix errors in your writing fast and it's easy to use too.

FAQ

Does Grammarly Work?

Grammarly finds and fixes more writing errors than a traditional proofreading and grammar checker. It will provide insights into the reasons behind a mistake and suggest fixes. Both 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

Is Grammarly Safe?

Grammarly is safe to use. Your writing is securely backed up and encrypted and you're unlikely to encounter any security or plagiarism issues. The business version of Grammarly includes enterprise-grade encryption. It's GDPR and CCPA compliant.

Will Grammarly Work On A Mac?

Grammarly works on a Mac via the desktop app. You can also use the Grammarly Chrome extension along for Safari too and the Grammarly keyboard for iOS.

How Does Grammarly Premium Work?

Grammarly Premium works by identifying additional grammar issues in your document. These are sometimes a matter of writing style. It also provides more context behind your potential mistakes and is a useful tool for learning the English language and line-editing. If you’re unsure or on a tight budget, try the free version of Grammarly. I used this for a few months before upgrading.

Is Grammarly Worth The Money?

Grammarly Premium is worth the money if you value error-free accurate writing. It's also a good purchase if you write online a lot. Those on a budget will get good value from the free version of Grammarly.

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 a ten-day period.

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, I offer a Grammarly discount.

Author

  • Ease of use
  • Accuracy
  • Affordability
4.67

Grammarly Review: The Verdict

Grammarly is an affordable writing tool that belongs in your toolbox. It'll help you fix errors in your writing fast and is easy to use.

Pros

  • Excellent online grammar knowledgebase
  • Useful for authors, writers and bloggers
  • Helps non-native English writers 
  • Switches between US and British English
  • Offers web extensions for most browser 
  • Insightful writing assistant

Cons

  • Some writers may baulk at paying $30 a month for a grammar checker
  • Not a replacement for a human proofreader
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