Discover what is Grammarly used for and how it can help you write and publish content faster.
Grammarly is much more than a spelling and grammar checker. I’ve been a Grammarly customer for years now. I use it to edit my work and the work of freelance writers who produce articles for this and other sites. I even use it to edit book chapters.
As mentioned in our Grammarly review, it started as a powered-up spelling and grammar checker. Since then, the team has built an AI-powered writing tool that can help anybody who works with the written word in many different ways. As I’ll cover in this article, it includes functionality like a plagiarism checker, citation manager, and a full-sentence rewriter.
|Grammar and Spelling Checks
|Writing Style Checks
|Genre-Specific Writing Style Checks
|Admin Console for Team Management
|Priority Email Support
- ✓ Best-in-class grammar checker
- ✓ Rewrite and edit at a click/span>
- ✓ Powerful AI-writing assistant
- Grammar Checks
- Spelling and Vocabulary Enhancement
- Sentence Structure Fixes
- Mobile Grammar Editing
- Plagiarism Detection
- Punctuation Checks
- Tone Detection
- Readability Scores
- Support for Other Writing Apps
- Writing Style Guide
- Writing Goals
- Writing Skills
- Grammar Lessons
- Improved Speaking
Grammarly’s primary use case is as a grammar and punctuation checker. You can identify and correct various grammatical errors within your document or draft. It’ll catch common spelling mistakes and grammar errors like subject-verb agreement, misplaced apostrophes, and dangling modifiers.
The free version of Grammarly should find and fix more grammar mistakes than a basic grammar checker. And it works across all writing apps and browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox via plugins. The premium version includes additional context and examples behind grammar mistakes. You might also be wondering, is Grammarly good for creative writing?
Spelling and Vocabulary Enhancement
Grammarly is a valuable tool for fixing spelling mistakes and enhancing your vocabulary. The software flags potential spelling errors and suggests better word choices as you type. Writers can also double-click on words in the web app to access its in-built thesaurus. This feature makes it easier for you to choose the right words, improve your writing style, and convey your thoughts more effectively.
If you find its flagging words or phrases that are correct, e.g., character names and technical terms, add them to the Grammarly custom dictionary. That way, it will only flag them if they don’t correspond with your entry.
You can also customize Grammarly based on what type of English you write in e..g American English, Canadian English, and Australian English. Grammarly is working on providing support for non-English languages.
Tip: When using the web app, double-click on any word to open a thesaurus and find a replacement word.
Sentence Structure Fixes
Grammarly includes an AI-powered writing assistant for premium users. It proposes a series of changes or sentence rewrites you can accept or reject with a click. These include fixing grammar errors and revising sentences for clarity and engagement. The AI tool also catches word sentences and phrases and explains how to simplify them with examples and suggestions. It’s useful if you spend a lot of time copyediting or wondering why your work is hard to read.
Mobile Grammar Editing
Grammarly works on mobile and a tablet. Mobile users can edit and grammar-check short and longer writing pieces, including social media posts, messages, and notes. Firstly, install the mobile app to access the full Grammarly editor. That app works best on a tablet. Secondly, install the Grammarly keyboard for iOS or Android to check what you type in any app.
To enable Grammarly Keyboard for iOS or Android, go to your device’s settings and select “Keyboard.” You can add the Grammarly keyboard and select it as your default keyboard. Look for the Grammarly icon inside wherever you write to activate it.
As you type, Grammarly underlines grammar or spelling errors and suggests corrections. Tap on any underlined error to review a list of suggested edits. To accept a suggested correction, tap on it. If you don’t want to correct it, tap the “Ignore” button. When finished editing, tap the “Done” button to save your changes or the “Cancel” button to discard them.
Grammarly Premium includes a plagiarism checker. This tool scans and compares your writing against billions of web pages, ensuring it’s free from accidental plagiarism. It’s also a useful feature for checking the work of potential team members before hiring them. Unlike other plagiarism detectors, Grammarly is not billed on a per-word or page-page basis. However, it only checks against articles and content freely available online. Check out our guide to the best plagiarism detectors.
Grammarly uses statistical methods to identify and correct punctuation errors in a piece of writing. It also relies on predefined rules dictating the use of punctuation in a sentence.
For example, Grammarly may flag a sentence missing a comma after an introductory phrase or a sentence that ends with a period but should end with a question mark. You can customize these rules in the admin section of Grammarly. I turned off the Oxford comma rule.
Grammarly also uses statistical models to analyze large amounts of text and identify common patterns of punctuation usage. By comparing your writing to these patterns, Grammarly flags incorrect or inconsistent punctuation and proposes fixes.
Grammarly now supports tone detection, which is useful when writing and grammar-checking emails and professional documents. To use the tone detector, install Grammarly for Chrome. Then, when writing an email, look for the emoji face next to the Grammarly icon. It indicates how your writing sounds to readers and proposes rewrites based on your preferred tone. It also provides weekly insights about your default tone over email.
Grammarly scores a piece of writing and provides a readability report. Aim for a score above 60-70 or higher and a reading score for the 11th or 12th-grade reading level.
To access metrics about the readability of your work, click on the score in the web app. It highlights long sentences that can be difficult to read and suggests breaking them into shorter, more manageable sentences. Learn more about using the Grammarly readability score.
Support for Other Writing Apps
The Grammarly browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and other web browsers mean using this grammar checker across the web is easy. Once installed, work in your web browser as normal. Click on the Grammarly icon to trigger a grammar check. This works particularly well in Gmail and Google Docs. Alternatively, you can install a dedicated Google Docs plugin.
Similarly, install the Grammarly app for Mac or Windows, which will work in the background. Write in Word, Outlook, or any writing app, as usual. Then, click the Grammarly icon to activate it. You can turn it on or off at any time. The apps for Mac and Windows supersede the Grammarly plugins for Microsoft Office and other apps.
Grammarly recently released a feature for managing citations. It’s a real time-saver if you write research papers or non-fiction. In beta, it only works on journals like PubMed and sites like Wikipedia. I’d expect support to improve.
If the site you’re looking at is supported, click the floating “Get citation” button. Grammarly will present a citation for APA, MLA, or Chicago that you can paste into your writing app. Alternatively, you can get an in-text citation by clicking on the ellipsis and then copying the in-text citation into your document.
Tip: If you need to cite an unsupported webpage, visit grammarly.com/citations and paste the details manually to generate one.
Writing Style Guide
Grammarly Business includes support for a writing style guide. It’s useful for small businesses and teams who want to publish content with a consistent tone of voice. Team members can add custom words, phrases, and terms to this style guide. Admins can also set rules for the company dictating Grammarly writing suggestions, edits, and fixes.
Professional writers establish writing goals based on word count, publications, deadlines, and more specific targets such as character and word counts and writing for a particular audience.
While Grammarly cannot directly help a writer meet a deadline, it can speed things up. When editing a piece, writers can set goals for audience, domain, intent, and formality. These goals customize the suggestions provided by the grammar checker.
For instance, a blogger might choose a domain of “General” if the content is intended for casual readers rather than subject-matter experts. Conversely, a professional working on a business report might select the domain of “Expert,” assuming that readers are comfortable with complex terminology and don’t mind lower readability scores.
Even most seasoned writers can encounter problems when drafting their work. They often resort to using passive voice, clichés, and weak words due to time constraints or the need to meet a word count. Writers employ clichés when they can’t think of more suitable words or phrases.
Great writing flows like water. It’s easy to read, free from unnecessary jargon, and usually instances of the passive voice. Grammarly can catch these issues in first drafts, emails, business cases, social media posts, and more.
While these issues may be acceptable in the first draft, addressing them during the editing and revision process is best. Grammarly can detect instances of the passive voice, identify missed clichés, and highlight clunky terms and filler words. Consequently, writers can transform an unwieldy first draft into a more compelling and engaging piece.
Whenever Grammarly detects a writing or grammar mistake, it underlines the error and provides more information on the right-hand sidebar. Each alert includes a detailed explanation of the grammar rule in question and useful examples to help you improve your writing. Premium users can click on these underlines or the sidebar to access more context behind the error and get more specific examples. It’s helpful for learning basic grammar rules while editing your work.
According to Max Lytvyn, the creator of Grammarly, using this grammar checker can promote a clearer speech by helping individuals speak in grammatically correct sentences. As writers become more familiar with the tool, they recognize weak writing, such as the passive voice, and automatically adjust their speech.
Grammarly Business provides secure access to company documents for teams that write and edit together. I took out a subscription to find out, and it’s great for working as a team on longer articles. By monitoring the usage of Grammarly every month, I can adjust the plan according to who uses it the most or the least. Additionally, I can add or remove users as needed due to changes in team membership. For more, read our Grammarly Business Review.
Grammarly is a powerful writing tool that’s improving all the time. However, don’t take all of its suggestions as mandatory. A writer should always determine what to accept or reject based on their preferred audience and style. If you like this article, check out our guide to the best grammar checkers.