Grammarly Free vs Premium: We Compare Both

Are you thinking about using Grammarly? Learn more in this post and pick between the Grammarly Free Vs Premium version.

Over the past few years, Grammarly has developed a reputation as one of the best grammar-checking tools available.

Today millions of writers and small business owners use the free and paid versions via its suite of apps and plugins for Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Office, Windows and Mac. The only problem is many new writers, and small business owners have a minimal budget for writing tools. So, can they accomplish more using the free version or is an upgrade worth it?

There are several key differences between the Grammarly free version and Grammarly Premium. In short, the free version is more accurate than your basic spelling or grammar checker. The premium version of this grammar checker contains over 400 additional writing checks that writers of all types will find helpful. However, it’s comparatively pricey. We’ll cover the differences in more detail in this comparison so you can make the right choice for your writing workflow or business.

If you’d like to learn more about Grammarly the company, read our Grammarly history overview.

Best Grammar Checker
Also Great
Affordable Alternative
5.0
4.5
4.0
$30 per month
$79 per year
$20 per month
Best Grammar Checker
Also Great
Affordable Alternative
4.0
$20 per month

Is Grammarly Completely Free?

The basic version of Grammarly is completely free, although it has some limitations. You can use the web app, keyboard or plugin to check a piece of writing for grammar and spelling mistakes. It doesn’t limit how often or where you use it to check for grammar and spelling mistakes. However, the free version lacks an AI-powered writing assistant, a plagiarism checker and other grammar tools. 

What Is The Difference Between Grammarly Free and Premium?

The free version of Grammarly contains several valuable tools for fixing English spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Going into more detail, the free version includes:

  • An automated spell-checker
  • A basic AI-powered grammar checker
  • A punctuation checker
  • A tone detection report

In the free version, you can switch between British, American, Australian and Canadian English. It works with:

  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft Word
  • Web browsers like Chrome, Safari and Microsoft Edge
  • Microsoft Office
  • iOS and Android via the Grammarly keyboard
Grammarly Premium
Grammarly Free VS Premium

The premium version contains advanced reports and a plagiarism checker for $30 per month. It also offers advanced writing reports. Going into more detail, the Grammarly premium version includes everything from the free version plus:

  • An additional 400+ grammar checks
  • Readability reports
  • An AI-powered writing assistant
  • A plagiarism checker
  • Citation suggestions
  • Advanced collaboration features
  • A writing style report

Clearly, these premium features apply to many types of writers across industries and disciplines. Of course, the downside of the premium version is you must pay a subscription. Therefore, how can you figure out which one is right for you? Here is the Grammarly Premium pricing:

  • A monthly subscription costs $30 per month
  • A quarterly subscription costs $60
  • An annual subscription costs $144

The company recently released Grammarly Business, which is ideal for collaboration and teams. It includes everything from Premium plus:

  • Advanced collaboration features
  • Enterprise-level encryption
  • Support for writing style guides
  • Support for multi-user accounts

It’s billed on a per-user basis. To learn more, read our Grammarly Business review

How to Use The Free Version of Grammarly

Grammarly desktop app
The Grammarly desktop app is powerful and fast.

It’s easy to install the free version of Grammarly, check your writing and compare it to the standard spelling and grammar checker in your writing app of choice. Follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Grammarly
  • Create an account with your Google or Facebook login or your best email
  • Download an extension for your browser of choice.
  • Download the desktop app for Mac or Windows
  • Alternatively, use the web app
  • Copy and paste documents into the app or upload them.
  • If you’re using the browser plugin, it’ll scan your emails and online documents in real time.
  • Review suggestions at a glance and decide what ones to accept or reject.

Expect the free version to underline issues like misplaced apostrophes and common spelling errors in red and blue. Grammarly offers some context to its corrections, but you’ll need to upgrade to gain additional insights and more context.

We recommend using the web app as you can use it to check emails and social media posts and get a feel for how it works before upgrading. Whatever your choice, it only takes a few minutes to incorporate the free version of Grammarly into a writing workflow.

What are The Drawbacks of Grammarly Free?

After extensive testing, we found the biggest drawback is the lack of additional writing insights and reports. If you take writing and publishing content seriously, these reports are a real time-saver and will help you improve your writing and editing skills.

We also missed the plagiarism detector when using Grammarly free. This detector helped us vet work by freelancers, a task that took much longer without Grammarly Premium.

How To Use the Premium Version of Grammarly

Grammarly plagiarism checker
Grammarly plagiarism checker in action

When ready, upgrade to the Premium version of Grammarly inside your account or via our link below. You can take out a monthly plan for a once-off project and cancel when done. If you plan to use Grammarly Premium more frequently, take out a quarterly or annual plan to save money.

The premium version includes all the features of the free version, along with some additions.

For example, the premium version provides you with a wide variety of vocabulary suggestions. This tool can help you improve your readability, making your writing easier to read.

I particularly like the AI-powered writing assistant, which reviews ambiguous and hard to read sentences. It then proposes fixes that I can accept or reject with a click.

It’s worthwhile trying the plagiarism checker in the premium version. It automatically check your content against billions of pages that have already been published.

Plagiarism issues, accidental or otherwise, can harm your SEO ranking, and this plagiarism checker can help you avoid this penalty. This premium tool is also helpful if you work with or edit articles by other writers.

What Are The Benefits of Upgrading to Grammarly Premium?

The premium tool is a lifesaver if you want to write professionally, speed up your publishing process, and reduce the amount of money you spend on editors. It’ll also help you learn more about grammar and easily edit the work of other writers.

Remember, you must review Grammarly’s suggestions and use your best judgement. Although it’s relatively accurate, sometimes it may misinterpret the meaning or intention of a piece of writing.

Our Testing Criteria

We regularly update this comparison as Grammarly evolve. We test new its new features by checking articles, book chapters and blog posts for grammatical and spelling mistakes.

These articles and writing samples range from several hundred to several thousand words. Typically, we test them using the web, desktop and browser apps and plugins.

Why You Can Trust Us

I’ve used Grammarly for years as part of my writing workflow. I’ve also written and published hundreds 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.

Grammarly Free Vs Premium: The Final Word

Is the premium version of Grammarly worth it? It depends on why you are using this proofreading tool.

The free version of Grammarly is enough to catch basic spelling and grammar issues. On the other hand, the free version will not provide you access to vocabulary suggestions, plagiarism checks, or tonal corrections.

The free version might be right for you if you are looking for a tool that can proofread your emails, catch fundamental grammar issues, or if you already pay for another tool that helps you with advanced stylistic or tonal problems.

The premium version is right for you if you write SEO content, academic publications, or technical articles. It’s also a good choice if you write and publish content online for a living. More established small businesses serious about content publishing should consider Grammarly Business.

Still unsure? Read our detailed Grammarly Review.

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FAQs About Grammarly Free Vs Premium

Does The Grammarly Chrome Extension Catch Basic Grammar Errors In Google Docs For Bloggers?

Yes, the free writing tool will catch basic grammar and spelling mistakes in online documents, including social media, helping you improve your writing skills.

Is The Premium Features Worth It For Professional Writers?

It depends on why you are using this tool. The premium version of this grammar check will follow all grammar rules, helping you reduce your need to rely on a human proofreader. You also get to use the plagiarism detector. Therefore, despite the Grammarly cost, Grammarly business could help you save money. You should compare this pricing to the amount of money you spend on professional editors.

Are There Alternatives To The Grammarly Premium Plan?

Yes, there are alternatives to the premium account. Some people who use Microsoft Office and Outlook enjoy using Microsoft Editor. Microsoft Editor can help you spell check, catch typos, fix punctuation errors, and improve your sentence structure or word choice. But, it does not provide the same array of features as Grammarly premium.

Is there a free trial available for the Grammarly Premium Plan?

The free version of Grammarly is the closest you’ll get to a free trial of Grammarly Premium. If you want to try its premium grammar tools,  including its plagiarism checker, your best bet is to take out a subscription for 30 days and cancel when done.

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