- Grammarly highlights mistakes to help you improve your writing.
- It can help you improve and expand your vocabulary.
- Grammarly provides mini grammar lessons based on your mistakes.
- It can be customized based on your goals.
- Grammarly is easy to use.
If you want to improve your writing and grammar for free, Grammarly can help. Let’s look at 5 of the many reasons this grammar checker is useful.
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1. Grammarly Highlights Your Mistakes and Shows you How to Correct Them
We all make careless mistakes sometimes. It can be difficult to find our own mistakes. Grammarly is an excellent tool for these kinds of mistakes. Extra spaces, missing articles, verb tense agreement errors, spelling, punctuation, and more are highlighted for you to check and correct at the click of a button.
Not only are they highlighted, but they are also color-coded according to the following alerts: Correctness, Clarity, Engagement, and Delivery. This method of organization makes understanding your mistakes easier.
2. Grammarly Helps You Improve Your Vocabulary
One thing I love about Grammarly is that it is based on you and your writing. Not only does it let you know if you are overusing a particular word, but it also highlights words that are overused in general. Let’s look at an example based on something written by one of my students.
My student wrote: Which is very boring and solid lifestyle.
Grammarly detected four issues with this sentence. As you will see, two of them were related to vocabulary.
Here are the four problems that were detected:
- incomplete sentence/fragment
- missing the article/determiner a in front of very
- overuse of boring (with the great suggestion of dull)
- overuse of solid (with three suggestions)
If my student applied each of these suggestions, the resulting sentence would be greatly improved.
Below you can see the suggestions to replace solid with the recommended choice marked with a small blue circle.
Grammarly also provides synonyms to help make your writing more engaging. Double-click on any word in your document to see a list of synonyms. This feature is a great way to learn new vocabulary!
Here is an example:
A fantastic aspect of Grammarly is that each of these alerts includes a mini grammar lesson!
3. Grammarly Gives You Mini Grammar Lessons
When Grammarly highlights a possible mistake, you will also have a corresponding alert to the right of your writing. Each alert contains an explanation of the grammar with helpful examples.
Here is an example:
Let’s look at another correction and mini grammar explanation.
The student wrote, “He move to another city.” Grammarly provided an accurate correction. It also explained the correction and gave additional examples.
These mini grammar lessons are very helpful. Rather than just fixing a mistake one time, you can learn how to avoid making the same mistake in the future. The explanations also help you decide if you need and want to change what you wrote. It is like having a knowledgeable teacher at your fingertips!
4. Grammarly Can Be Customized
Setting goals allows you to customize alerts to suit your needs. Below you can see the options for customization.
While parts of this feature are still in the experimental phase, you can set goals to get writing suggestions related to your goals. If you choose a more formal tone, you’ll see additional alerts to make your writing more formal.
You can improve your experience by customizing the notifications you receive from Grammarly.
Select your preferences and get only the emails you want.
If you’re using Grammarly to improve your writing, the Weekly Progress Reports and The Grammarly Blog are two options you may find beneficial.
5. Grammarly Is Easy to Use
There are 3 Ways to Use Grammarly
- Download and install the app for Windows and Microsoft Office.
- Add the Grammarly extension to Chrome.
- Sign up for a free account without downloading anything or adding anything.
If you do not want to download anything or add any extensions to your browser, the easiest way to use Grammarly is to sign up for a free account. Follow these steps:
- Look for and click on the Login option in the upper right-hand corner.
- At the bottom of the login box, click Don’t have an account?
- Enter your email and create a password.
- Personalize Grammarly to your own needs or choose skip.
- You can choose what most of your writing is for from a drop-down menu: work, school, or other projects.
- You can also choose your writing skills: beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
- Choose the free or premium version. There is no risk in trying the free version to see if you like it.
After you sign up for your account, check out the demo document to learn more about Grammarly’s features.
To exit the demo, click on the Grammarly icon in the upper left-hand corner. You’ll then see a menu like the one above. Clicking on My Grammarly will take you to the dashboard like the one below. Or, you can go straight to writing by clicking on New Document. All your work is stored in the Grammarly cloud and is accessible from any computer that you use.
Once you click on New, you’ll come to a page that looks like the one below. Simply type or paste your text. Grammarly will instantly check it for errors. You will see how many errors you have, along with suggestions and explanations about how to fix them. To access the explanations, click on the alert, and then click on the three dots for more.
You can use the free version with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers.
If you use Explorer, you will see a message saying to use one of those browsers. I have tested to see what happens if you try to use Grammarly with Internet Explorer. While you do get some functionality by logging in to the app from Explorer, it is not as functional as when using Chrome. The biggest drawback is that it does not save your documents and only allows one document at a time. When you click away from the document, it disappears. I highly recommend using one of the compatible browsers for full functionality.
While Grammarly can catch many mistakes, and it is The World’s Best Grammar Checker, there is no guarantee it will catch all mistakes. Overall, it does an excellent job finding mistakes, but I have found a few examples where neither the free nor premium versions catch an awkward or incorrect word use.
I have no doubt Grammarly’s technology will continue to improve, but in the meantime, do not expect absolute perfection.
If you are using the free version, you’ll see that Premium gives you access to more corrections. If Premium is not in your budget, you can try to improve your writing by using the number of additional alerts available on Premium. Have fun with it. See if you can eliminate the number of alerts by doing your own proofreading and rewriting. It is responsive to this.
Additional Information and Final Thoughts
Will Grammarly fix all my mistakes?
I love that Grammarly provides instant feedback with explanations of possible mistakes. It highlights potential mistakes for you to decide to change or not change.
It is important to use your own judgment and knowledge of grammar when considering the recommendations it makes. The grammar explanations help you do this.
If you are unsure and need your writing to be 100% correct, consider hiring a professional proofreader (Yes, Grammarly offers that too!). Or reach out to me on Twitter if you follow me there! I’m always happy to check a sentence for you.
Grammarly performs well, but it is still AI and not a human. It utilizes AI algorithms and machine learning. Both humans and AI have their shortcomings. The good thing is, like humans, Grammarly is always evolving and improving!
While nothing can replace a human (especially an expert teacher), signing up for a free Grammarly account is an easy way to improve your writing, grammar knowledge, and vocabulary. It might not highlight every mistake, but it will highlight more mistakes than you can find yourself!
Should I install the Chrome extension?
The choice is yours. I decided to install the extension so that Grammarly could check this blog post. I was glad that I did! The free extension found three mistakes that I didn’t notice even after re-reading my writing a few times. I fixed them with a few simple clicks. You can see screenshots of two of them below. The third was a misspelled word. I had written judgement, but Grammarly suggested judgment. If you do some research, you will see there are debates about which spelling is preferred. As a writer, you get to be the judge of which you prefer.
The extension provides high value at no cost. However, if you don’t like giving extensions permission to access your email and social media, another option is to draft your writing in Grammarly and copy and paste it to its destination. It is really just a matter of choice and how trusting you are of Internet apps.
Is Premium worth the price?
Yes, absolutely. Offering over 400 types of checks, Grammarly Premium provides far more assistance than the free version. I’m a good writer, but even good writers make small, embarrassing mistakes when typing. The three mistakes Grammarly found in this blog post were minor typing issues that I was happy to fix, but Premium showed me so much more!
When I used Premium, Grammarly provided 47 additional alerts! Of those 47, I chose to change 19 issues. I was even happier to further improve my writing! Most of the other alerts were stylistic ones that I chose not to change.
As a Premium user, Grammarly is unbeatable when it comes to improving your writing. Premium gives you so much more insight into your writing and truly helps make your writing easier and more enjoyable to read. So, yes, if you can afford between .38 cents and $1.00 per day (depending on whether you choose a monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription), Premium is absolutely worth the price. Even just one month of using it will provide valuable insight into your writing.
Never stop learning!