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Grammarly review

Grammarly is a free browser add-on with an optional paid service. Both are excellent grammar checkers, but the paid service is on the expensive side.

Grammarly review
(Image: © Grammarly)

Our Verdict

Grammarly is the best online grammar checking software because of its accuracy and easy integration with Word and online text boxes.

For

  • Grammarly works with an easy browser add-on
  • Checks not only grammar but tone and phrasing
  • Intuitive and easy to use

Against

  • You need to pay to get the full service
  • Suggestions can feel a little intrusive while writing

After testing the best online grammar checkers, it's clear that Grammarly is the best one available. Grammarly goes above and beyond, checking not only grammar and punctuation but phrasing and tone to help you perfect emails, social media posts and reports. 

Grammarly suggests changes which you are free to ignore, but for the most part, we found them to be insightful and welcome adjustments. Grammarly is also helpful for proofreading and checking punctuation. Even if you're comfortable doing this yourself, Grammarly will speed the whole process up and catch out any errors in seconds. 

Grammarly review: How it works

We ran Grammarly through a handful of tests and used the program in everyday writing to get a sense of how helpful it is. The software finds comma errors with ease, which is one of the most common mistakes you can make in writing. It out-performed Microsoft Word in detecting and correcting errors, which, while not difficult to do, makes it worth the investment if you’re concerned about missing details in your writing.

Grammarly has a free version, which is useful if you don't mind it reminding you about all the features you’re missing out on. The free version will still offer you plenty of advice in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but it would make sense to upgrade if you're a student, or your work involves a lot of writing, as Grammarly Premium will give you insight into clarity, engagement, delivery and even plagiarism.

Grammarly review

Grammarly automatically generates suggestions for punctuation, grammar and tone (Image credit: Grammarly)

When you compose in a larger document, you have to enable a session to get feedback from Grammarly. You can then scroll through the doc to fix errors. In case an error confuses you, the system provides a short explanation for its suggestion. While helpful for someone well-versed in grammar and punctuation, these aren’t quite learning tools. They function more like reminders, and they're written for someone who has a decent grasp on written English already.

When you purchase the premium version, you get weekly status updates that let you know how you’re doing, which can be a nice feature if you're looking to improve and set goals for your writing. The updates tell you how many words the program checked as well as what your top errors were. Depending on your writing level, this could be a helpful addition to your writing skills, but it's by no means essential.

With Grammarly, it’s best to wait until you finish composing before you check for errors. Even though it is better at checking your work as you go than any other program, there’s a lag in its ability to register when you’re fixing typos on your own. You’ll want to wait to click through the review rather than try to edit within the text box or digital document. It can also be a little annoying to be corrected as you go, as you might lose your flow or even forget what you're writing. 

Grammarly review

Grammarly works on desktop and mobile devices (Image credit: Grammarly)

The service has an online hub where you can manage all its settings. You can compose and save documents within Grammarly if you’d like, and you can also install an application on your phone to check your writing on the go.

Grammarly lets you select American or British English, and you can select a writing genre. This is very useful because you use different voices when writing for different audiences, and it’s great that Grammarly can adapt to different types of projects.

The application also makes it easy to ignore its advice, which is especially helpful if the software gets something wrong in your document, which happens occasionally. In addition, you can add words to your dictionary. We found this feature useful when we used uncommon terms intended for an internal audience.

Grammarly review

Grammarly has a clean and intuitive design which makes its advice accessible but not too distracting (Image credit: Grammarly)

Grammarly review: Where to install

Grammarly works on Chrome, Safari and Firefox. One of the factors that makes Grammarly the best choice for an online grammar checker is how easy it is to use on different web apps and even in Microsoft Word. Unlike other grammar checkers, the application isn’t intrusive, and it appears in texts boxes online. Many of the other programs we evaluated made it hard to accurately identify the problem text, but Grammarly’s red underlining is easy to see and clearly marks where the error is.

When you’re in a text box, you need to click an icon at the bottom to get Grammarly to pop up so you can see details about corrections that need to be made. There’s a short lag while the software analyzes your content, and it adds a few extra steps to your writing process. However, Grammarly’s helpful and correct suggestions are worth the slight delay.

Grammarly works on mobile devices as well as desktops. There's the option of a Grammarly keyboard, which can be installed and used on cell phones and tablets. The add-on works with Gmail, Yahoo, Slack, Google Docs, Messenger, Outlook, Jira, Salesforce, Medium, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

Grammarly review

Grammarly solves minor and major spelling and punctuation errors.  (Image credit: Grammarly)

Grammarly review: Cost

While Grammarly functions much better than its competition, its price tag is a little much. It costs $11.66 for the premium version every month. That’s not a small chunk of change for a beefed-up version of Word’s editor.

The cost of the service does drop sometimes, as Grammarly runs regular discounts and offers for new subscribers.

Grammarly review: Customer support

Registered subscribers can get 24-hour support from Grammarly’s site via a request feature. If you can’t find the answer you need on the searchable FAQs page, the system prompts you to submit a ticket. The service promises to respond to your concern within a day. When we submitted a help request on the site during business hours, it only took a half an hour to receive a response from the team.

One of the major appeals of Grammarly is its appealing design and layout. It's intuitive and modern, with clean suggestions and a blog with a host of options and advice, completely free.

Grammarly review

Grammarly uses emojis to indicate the tone of your writing (Image credit: Grammarly)

Should you try Grammarly? 

For free, Grammarly is a nice tool that can help you avoid typos when working online. It adds a few extra steps to your writing process, though, and there is a slight delay while the system checks your work.

We found the more advanced checker useful too, especially as writers who work on different projects at once and generate thousands of words each week. It's always helpful to have another set of eyes on your work, and students and professionals who want to always put their best foot forward in emails and correspondence would do well to install the free version before deciding if they want to upgrade.