In this review, we’re going to have a look at Grammarly. We’ll discuss what it’s good at, what it’s not good at, and whether it’s still useful in 2024.
In This Article
- 1 Promise
- 2 Who?
- 3 Ease of Use
- 4 Design
- 5 Versions
- 6 Pricing Model
- 7 Features
- 8 Issues
- 9 Recommendations
First off, what promise does Grammarly make to its users?
Grammarly is a grammar-checking app that is designed to help users improve the clarity and professionalism of their writing. In general, the app promises to help users identify and correct errors in their writing, improve the clarity and style of their writing, and communicate more effectively through written materials.
Ok, so who might this app be useful for? I would argue that it is useful for everybody, even if you just use the free version. Today, everybody writes. All the time.
Perhaps you’re sending an important email, messaging back and forth, or even writing a review, like I’m doing right now. Apps like Grammarly not only help you come across as more coherent, but they also help prevent embarrassing mistakes.
Stop me if this sounds familiar. You’re writing an important email, you read through it twice, in order to check for any mistakes, and then you click send.
As you release the mouse button, your eyes zero in on an embarrassing misspelling. Unfortunately, it is too late. The email has gone through, and you know the recipient will pick up on the error. Running Grammarly in the background would help prevent that from happening.
Ease of Use
OK, so how can I actually use Grammarly?
First, you make an account. You can then specify which English you write in. This could be American English, British English, Canadian English, or Australian English.
You then have a few different ways of using the app. First off, you can just use it on the Grammarly website, if you so choose. Alternatively, you can install it as an extension in your browser. Grammarly can then pay attention every time you’re writing, and it can make helpful suggestions to you.
Lastly, which is the way that I use it, is you can download Grammarly on your computer. It runs in the background and makes suggestions within your writing app. For example, I use iA Writer, as I find it both beautiful and functional (review coming soon). If Grammarly is running, and as I scroll through my text, it gives me suggestions and points out issues.
To be perfectly honest, most people won’t even need to get a subscription. The free version would probably suffice for most of you. The paid version has some extra goodies, but we’ll go into that a bit later.
Ok, so what is Grammarly’s design like? Is it intuitive, and easy to use?
I’d say so, yeah. When you’re reading through your text, it will underline potential issues for you. Once you click on them, it will then show you suggestions. These could be words that you have misspelt, or potentially even sentences which could be worded more clearly, which the app will re-write for you.
Now, obviously, an app like Grammarly is based on machine learning, so the suggestions won’t be 100% accurate. I find the accuracy to be really close to that 100% rate, but on rare occasions, it does make weird, or outright incorrect suggestions.
As a quick side note, you have the option to actually tell Grammarly to not correct your grammar in certain apps, or on some websites. Quite useful, so I figured I’d point it out.
Does Grammarly also have a mobile version? Yes, you can also run it on your phone, or tablet. I personally don’t use it, as I don’t type on my phone that much, but many of you will, and so the app would come in handy.
When it comes to pricing, Grammarly offers three options: Free, Premium, and Business. Most people will only ever need Free, some might need Premium, and Business is basically for businesses who want to buy multiple subscriptions for their team members.
I don’t talk about the exact price of services, as they can change, not only over time, but also based on where you’re at. Feel free to have a look at their pricing page, for the current plans.
Ok, ok, so what features does Grammarly offer? Let’s go through some of them, and discuss them more at length. Bear in mind that some of these might be Premium only.
Feel free to consult the pricing page linked above, if you’d like to know which is part of which. Again, I don’t specify which is which, as Grammarly might change things in the future. Who knows.
Grammar and spelling checking
So Grammarly can identify and correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. As mentioned earlier, it’s almost 100% correct. On infrequent occasions, I’ve found myself in situations where I’d have to ignore a suggestion as it made no sense.
That being said, this rarely ever happens.
Grammarly can suggest alternative words and phrases to help users improve the clarity and style of their writing. This one I find to be really useful, regardless of whether I’m writing a review, or an email.
Given that most of what we write is for other people, it’s incredibly useful to have a “second pair of eyes” look over my writing, and thus get a second opinion. I don’t always take its advice when it comes to these suggestions, as I sometimes prefer my own style of writing, but it’s a super handy feature to have.
It’s important to bear in mind that it’s very difficult to be impartial when it comes to the things that we create, including writing, and that third-party opinion can be more valuable than we might initially realise.
Clarity and Conciseness
So, when writing, you might be tempted to stuff extra words into your sentences. I get that, you want to hit that word count, but guess what; your tutor’s not going to be very happy with you. This will not make them a happy bunny, and thus you won’t be one either, once you see your grade.
Grammarly can look out for this practice, and it can make suggestions on how you can shorten your sentece, without losing the essence of what you’re trying to say.
But Christian, you might say, isn’t that something that you do? Now, look here. I don’t have a teacher, or boss to tell me off on my writing, so I’ll do as I please, thank you very much.
Now, onward to the next feature.
Grammarly can also make suggestions when it comes to formatting. Let’s say that you’re writing a long list. In some instances, it might make more sense to write it as bullet points, instead of a regular list.
Grammarly will pick up on that and will suggest it to you.
So, let’s say that you’re writing an email, but you’re not sure about how it may come across to other readers. Grammarly can help you craft your email, in order for it to sound more confident, or perhaps more diplomatic. The list that they provide on their website is: confident, friendly, diplomatic, constructive, sincere, and formal.
This is super useful, especially if English is not your first language. This feature will allow you to bridge that gap, and thus enable you to use the exact words needed in order to convey a specific type of message.
This one’s super useful for all you nerds out there. Whether you’re engaged in scientific writing, or perhaps academic, Grammarly can automatically generate citations.
Honestly, I don’t use this one that much, for I am not a nerd, but if you are one, I’d definitely recommend you look a bit deeper into it.
Ok, so this one’s really interesting. The app can identify instances of plagiarism and provide citations for any copied text. This feature is only available in the premium version.
Now, especially with the rise of apps like chatGPT, if you choose to use such an app, in order to augment your writing, or increase your productivity, plagiarism can sometimes be an issue. Using Grammarly to check for exactly that makes it a fantastic tool for not only professional writers, but also students.
Personal writing style
Believe it or not, Grammarly can analyze your writing style, and provide feedback and suggestions for improvement. Makes me feel like I’m back in school, and I don’t know how I feel about that.
Ok, this one might be useful for quite a lot of us. Grammarly can recognize words that are spelt correctly but used incorrectly in the context of a sentence.
Their, or they’re, anyone?
Grammarly allows users to create their own personal dictionary, so they can add words and phrases that the app might flag as incorrect.
I actually find this super useful, as I occasionally come across words like these.
Ok, so does Grammarly have any issues? As mentioned previously, as it is based on machine learning, Grammarly will not always be 100% correct.
There will be instances where it will make mistakes, or awkward suggestions. I can only imagine it will get better over time though. Or not, in which case you will forever be haunted by the spectre of almost accurate writing suggestions.
Ok, so in conclusion, should you get Grammarly?
Well, do you like saving time? Perhaps you enjoy coming across as eloquent to your readers? Maybe English is not your native tongue, and you want a second pair of eyes to look over your work, and double-check everything. This one’s even more relevant for foreign students.
If at least one of those questions applies to you, then yeah, you should download Grammarly, and at least give it a try. You don’t have to get a paid subscription really, at least not if you’re most people, so you can enjoy all the magic that this app can do, free of charge.
I hope this guide has been helpful to you. What I do here is help people achieve their dream of being geographically independent by earning their living online from anywhere. To do this, I teach people how to be better freelancers and how to take better images. I also show them the tools required, such as cameras and lenses, apps, and audio equipment.