Grammarly is a grammar checker and writing-enhancement software, launched in 2009. Welcome to our Grammarly Review.
Update 11/16/2015: Our research has found this to be the best plagiarism + proofread checker (will open in a new tab).
Before co-founding Grammarly, Inc., Shevchenko and Lytvyn co-created MyDropBox – education software which enables students to exchange files with an instructor. MyDropBox was later acquired by Blackboard, Inc. Today, they both oversee product development and strategy, assuring that Grammarly keeps marching forward, and that every aspect of its development is cared for and perfected.
Above from left to right: Alex, Max and Brad
Grammarly, Inc.’s offices are located in San Fransisco, CA. The company also has an office in Kiev, Ukraine. The company’s CEO is Brad Hoover, who joined the team in 2011. Brad happened to stumble upon the software, while searching for a program that would aid him with his own writing.
Grammarly, Inc.’s flagship product is the Grammarly Editor, which aims to improve communication within the world’s native and non-native English writers alike.
The editor corrects contextual spelling mistakes, checks grammar for more than 250 grammatical errors, provides synonyms and vocabulary enhancements, and even suggests citations where applicable. Grammarly Editor includes a built-in plagiarism detector, and is used by over 4 million users worldwide.
Grammarly also provides a free spelling and grammar checker for the Chrome and Firefox web browsers.
Aside from the spelling and grammar checkers, this extension/add-on also includes a dictionary and thesaurus. Simply highlight a word to receive its definition, in a clear and concise manner. The extension/add-on integrates itself into a wide range of social media and web-based email websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and others.
Grammarly is essentially an online application. As such, it does not require any kind of special download. It does not exist as a mobile app yet, but improvements are always being made. It is possible that in the future it will be available for mobile users in the form of an app.
Grammarly Microsoft Add-In
The software is also available as an add-in for Microsoft Office suite, in Word and Outlook. When adding this feature to Microsoft products, it integrates itself into the software. It then has the potential to take the software to the next level, and provide the user with a much better writing session. Grammarly finds and corrects over 250 kinds of grammatical errors. It finds up to ten times more mistakes than Microsoft Office’s built-in spelling and grammar checker. The add-in works with Word and Outlook for Microsoft Office 2007/2010/2013.
Note: Use of this feature and its functions is available for premium users only.
Grammarly On The Web
On the Grammarly website, aside from its award-winning Editor, you can also find:
- Grammarly Handbook – a writing and grammar handbook that covers all types of English grammar, style, and word choice issues.
- Grammarly Words – a context-optimized dictionary and thesaurus.
- Grammarly Answers – the place to ask questions about English grammar, style, or vocabulary, and get help from Grammarly’s experts.
- Grammarly Blog – an amusingly educational blog, chock-full of whimsical posts and mind-expanding articles on English, education, grammar, words, and writing in general.
Grammarly cares about education.
This is why the experts at Grammarly, Inc. have developed Grammarly@EDU – a web-based application which helps students revise their papers, and provides vital feedback in real time. Grammarly@EDU aids with the cultivation of all-important writing skills, and prevents plagiarism. It provides the student with the tools needed for proper revision of text, and helps the student become a better pupil. Students and faculty can upload writing assignments to the application, and receive immediate feedback on over 250 points of grammar! It also checks for proper citation in the submitted work.
Grammarly@EDU is suitable for K-12 grades, as well as higher education institutions.
Subscribing to Grammarly@EDU can be done based on single campus license or on a “per student” group license.
Grammarly Free Trial
Grammarly has a free version which is available via its website. The free version includes:
- Spell check – spelling errors, and correctly spelled words used out of context.
- Grammar check – subject-verb agreement, verb forms, tenses, and many more grammar pitfalls. The free trial checks for 100 grammatical errors altogether.
- Punctuation check – detects missing or redundant commas, periods, colons, and semicolons.
- Sentence structure check – misplaced words, wrong word order, and general incorrect structuring of a sentence.
- Style – looks out for potential problems with the writing style. Helps avoid cases of redundancy and overkill.
Grammarly premium offers a more comprehensive writing-enhancement experience. It detects even more complex styling issues, finds advanced problems with sentence structure, and offers vocabulary enhancements where applicable. It is much more customizable, providing different checking algorithms for more than 30 different types of documents (e.g. student essays, personal blogs, professional emails).
Premium users enjoy the benefit of a built-in plagiarism checker, which checks the text for unoriginality against a vast database of over 10 billion documents and webpages. For a writer, avoiding plagiarism is a number one priority, and it is taken seriously by everyone. It is the professional way to work. Premuim subscribers also receive the benefits of Grammarly's 24/7 telephone and email customer support. Professional proofreading services are also available for premium users, with additional charges starting at $0.02 per word. And speaking of charges – Grammarly offers a no-hassle money-back guarantee, for those who may not be satisfied with the product during the first week. Users have the option of buying the software, trying it, and only then making up their minds. Grammarly cares about its subscribers, and it is does everything in its power to help them out.
Grammarly offers several payment plans: monthly, quarterly, and annual. This pricing plan aims to accommodate as many individuals as possible. A monthly subscription costs $29.95, a quarterly subscription costs $19.98 per month, and an annual subscription is the best one and most cost effective available, at $11.66 per month.
First of all – the fact that Grammarly is an online application can be seen as an advantage by some and a disadvantage by others.
Personally, I really enjoyed the fact that I did not need to download and install any software, nor burden my PC’s memory with any additional data.
Now, on to the application itself.
Right off the bat, what I immediately noticed was that Grammarly is amazingly user-friendly. Its interface is very simple and effective. It allows you to either upload an existing text file, or create a blank document from scratch. The new document can then either be saved on the Grammarly cloud (it's saved automatically) or be downloaded from the Grammarly website as a .txt file.
When deciding to write this review, I already knew one main thing going in. I knew that there is NO such thing as a perfect grammar checker. Companies make all kinds of promises, but I knew from previous experience that it is close to impossible to live up to all of them. It would be impractical to expect a computer-generated algorithm to fully replace the keen eyes of a human observer/editor. Grammarly advertises itself as the world’s most accurate grammar checker, and that may be true as far as grammar checker software goes. However, even the most accurate computer-based grammar checker is not a human editor. Because of that, there is absolutely no way that Grammarly could live up to every single thing it promises. Unfortunate, but not without precedent.
Having said that, there is a lot – a LOT – that Grammarly can do for those who are interested in improving their English writing skills. Using it to write blog posts, I found that it easily caught ninety-something percent of the mistakes that were in my post. Not only did it catch nearly every mistake, it also informed me of the nature of the errors, and provided ways to solve the issues. This is a huge plus. It means that Grammarly allowed me to actively participate in upping my game, and become a better writer through the software. That really is what Grammarly is about. This, I thought to myself, is why one would buy a writing-enhancement software. The grammar checker and spell checker I have on my word processor is simply not enough. It may fix things here and there, but it certainly wouldn’t teach me proper grammar.
Grammarly is web-based, meaning that this application's speed has a lot to do with the speed of your internet. You may experience lag at times, depending on your system and your speed, but from what I saw it usually runs at a very satisfactory pace. I was interested in the process of reviewing the text, and was wondering about Grammarly’s fast pace. I looked it up on their website’s FAQ, and sure enough, someone had already asked that very same question. The answer that person got was that Grammarly has very powerful cloud-based computers, and their patent-pending algorithms are used to analyze text in real time. That is how Grammarly is able to give you great results, quickly and efficiently.
Like I said, Grammarly did not catch every single mistake. But then again, I did not expect it to. I am aware that there are certain aspects of the English language (e.g. idioms, newer words, vernacular, UK/US English) that are impossible for grammar checker software to analyze accurately and consistently. However, Grammarly is changing and advancing constantly, and newer algorithms are being developed in order to facilitate all of these needs. One way in which Grammarly is definitely making a difference for the better, is by letting its users give immediate feedback through use of the “thumbs up, thumbs down” icons. Users are able to send back valuable information, which is then used by Grammarly’s programmers to make it even better and yield quicker results.
While it is a shame that Grammarly doesn’t currently have a version for mobile users, there is no doubt that they will in the future. As the saying goes, patience is a virtue. And even if they do not come up with such a version, it is a very good writing enhancer, which can help you go from good to great. After all, you still have the option of downloading the browser extension.
To sum it all up – even though Grammarly did not fix %100 of the errors in my post, it got a large percentage of them. It is easy to use, effective, and efficient. It may not be the ideal tool for all professionals, however it may very well be the “go to” program for anyone who wants to avoid embarrassing mistakes, and carry themselves and their writing in a more professional and confident manner. It most certainly beats any everyday word processor out there. It doesn't just process your words, it enhances them and gives them more clarity.
Using correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar count for a lot. In this day and age, when big fingers and small keys on large smartphones are messing up everything; when autocorrect is ruining people’s language development skills; when people are proclaiming that English is dying – you may find that these seemingly trivial traits, like correct spelling, can make or break you in the eyes of many. You still need good writing skills, whether it is for an important business email, a critical university assignment, or a blog post.
Grammarly ensures that you are able to get the best out of your writing. It isn’t just about correct spelling and grammar – it is about self-expression. Getting what you want across, in the best, fastest, and most accurate way.