What is Grammarly? Is Premium Worth It? Our In Depth Review

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Whether you are an experienced writer, novice blogger, or seeking to improve your writing, everyone makes grammar mistakes. It’s all part of the process of crafting the written word. For many writers, creativity and new ideas might be your strong suit. However, distinguishing minute grammar details might not be. Remembering every rule of grammar taught in school is nearly impossible. Grammar and spelling mistakes can litter even the best works from experienced writers.

The Grammar Checking App

Grammarly Review

As the world increasingly relies on computers and online technology, grammar is on display, quite literally. This makes mistakes glaringly noticeable. There’s infinite pressure to perfect grammar and eliminate the distractions that come from those mistakes. A great presentation can be derailed with simple spelling or formatting mistakes. This is where the application Grammarly comes into play. This app can identify technical errors in writing across multiple platforms. It makes your life easier as you craft the perfect blog post, email, article, or school essay.

Of course, this app and software plug-in is not for everyone. As with any software or app, it has limitations. For some, it might not be worth the hassle or potential risks associated with use. To fully understand the scope of Grammarly, let’s dive into a Grammarly review. We’ll go over this software, its uses, new features, and much more.

I ran this review post through Grammarly as well to make sure it reads better and has less mistakes.

Please note that this post has affiliate links. We talk about the product in an unbiased way, but rarely review products we dislike (to avoid disputes). We do recommend the app, we also talk about why it’s not for everyone.

Grammarly Review: What Is Grammarly?

Grammarly is an extension that you can install in your browser or word processor. It checks and reviews spelling, grammar, plagiarism, and more. Grammarly works across many platforms. The extension conducts checks in real-time as you write in platforms like WordPress, Microsoft Word, Facebook, email, etc.

Many users consider this app to be a “Free Grammar Assistant.” The company itself uses the tagline “world’s most accurate grammar checker.” However, more than correcting grammar and spelling mistakes, Grammarly can help improve writing skills. It’s loftiest goals are to create a stronger writer in the long run.

This sounds good, right?

The answer is it can be if used in the right way. Of course, no app is without limitations and cons. This is true for this writing software and plug-in. This is why it is important to consider all the features, price points, upgrades, new features, the pros, and the cons. Ready to learn more about what Grammarly has to offer?

The Features & Price: Basic and Premium

Basic (and Free) Review

Grammarly Free Version

The basic version of Grammarly is free – which is great! It works well for people with freelance writing responsibilities. For most people, the free version meets the basic self-help needs.

The free version features grammar and spelling checks. It also has resources built in to help you understand the mistakes and how you can become a better writer. Some of the features of the free version of Grammarly include:

  • Grammarly Cards. These break down the grammar rules and how to avoid the same mistakes moving forward.
  • Reporting. Grammarly provides feedback on plagiarism, vocabulary, spelling, and grammar at the end of your work. This is great to highlight areas of improvement.
  • Language Preferences. The platform also allows you to switch between different dialects of English, such as American English and Australian English. You can also switch up overall language preference settings.

The Premium Version

The premium version includes several additional features. It can work for people with more needs for accountability in grammar and overall writing style.

The premium version also includes vocabulary enhancement, plagiarism detection, and genre-specific writing style checks. It also conducts punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure checks. Many of the Premium features are the same as in the free version. However, two add-ons stand out as particularly useful for writers with more needs. Those Premium features are:

  • Plagiarism Check. This feature cross-checks against infinite internet sources to ensure plagiarism is not present. This is great if you employ other writers and need to ensure their work is original content. It can also help if you are a student concerned about citing a resource too heavily.
  • Vocabulary Enhancement. This allows you to widen your lexicon and produce clear, context-optimized synonyms. It provides alternatives for repetitive or overused words.
  • Writing Style Checks. This is for genre-specific works. It works really well for students who need to adopt a formal or academic tone for papers.

In terms of the cost commitment, the premium version comes with several price point options. If you need access to these advanced capabilities, the cost might be worth it. The monthly cost of Premium is $29.95/month. A quarterly subscription runs $59.95, which breaks down to $19.98/month. If you are prepared for a commitment, the annual subscription is $139.95, or $11.66/month. Sometimes Grammarly runs specials for a free month or a certain percentage off. Keep an eye out for these deals if you are trying it out.

Grammarly premium pricing

Pros

This Grammarly review will dive in deep with pros and cons to fully unpack how this platform can be of use to writers, entrepreneurs, students, and more. Understanding these aspects will be essential in determining if Grammarly fits your needs or not. If you are considering making a commitment to this application, be sure to do the research. Ready? Let’s start with the pros!

Real-Time Results

Real time results

Grammarly corrects the writing as you write. This makes editing and checking your work much faster than traditional methods. Rather than checking at the end, you will see right away if you have made an error or mistake.

This is especially helpful if you forget to hit that “check spelling and grammar” button before submitting work. Instead, you can change and accept the mistakes and errors as they happen, creating a clean result. Plus, it can be automatic. There’s no need to track the mistakes and double back. Grammarly does the work for you. You can also hover over the suggested mistakes to see if you should accept it or not.

Accuracy Is Key

Humans make mistakes. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t need Grammarly or other spell check tools. Fortunately, the Grammarly software is highly accurate and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. It can sometimes misunderstand the message or misplace a comma, but it still has high-level accuracy.

Some suggested errors might not be correct. However, this is seldom when it comes to Grammarly services. When it comes to conducting efficient grammar checks, accuracy is essential for the final product.

Easy Explanations

East explanation

Grammarly does more than correct simple mistakes. The program also explains the mistakes. This can help you to improve and to learn from mistakes for future work. While Grammarly makes your writing polished, it also helps you become a better writer. This is different than traditional grammar checks like those in Microsoft Word. Word processors don’t always explain why something is incorrect.

The explanations from Grammarly come in two options. A quick-view can give a brief snippet of the change. From there, you can accept the change and continue on your way. The other option is to select “See More in Grammarly” and read a full explanation of the error. This helps in learning what the mistake is, why it is a mistake, and how to eliminate the error.

Using Grammarly frequently will aid in understanding where to place commas and strengthen sentence phrasing. Overall, it will help you become a stronger writer. At the end of the day, it’s a great resource for people who not only write frequently but are seeking to become better writers.

Customization for Your Lexicon

Customized lexicon

In both the premium and free versions of Grammarly, varying levels of customization are available. Grammarly allows you to select a preferred language. It also lets you decide which sites to use Grammarly on and add new words to the dictionary. Adding words to the dictionary is great if you frequently use slang, brand names, or abbreviations. This can be helpful especially for people in the marketing field. This will help you save time from correcting errors whenever these “incorrect” words appear.

Simplicity for Users

This software is fairly easy to use no matter what your level of technical skills might be. Once you install the plugin or extension, you are good to move forward!

Grammarly will underline incorrect grammar or words. From there, you hover over it to see what the proposed change is and decide to accept it or not. It can also update in real-time while you crank out that excellent writing project, last minute essay, or critical work email. Grammarly is great for people who find grammar is not in their comfort zone. It’s an easy solution that produces quality results.

Mobile Friendly

Grammarly has app versions that can be downloaded and used on mobile devices. Grammarly is available on both Android and iPhones. It installs a keyboard specifically for checking errors while on your phone. This is great if you frequently write emails on the go and need to ensure their grammatical and spelling accuracy.

So, What Are the Cons?

Grammarly is not for everyone and every type of use though. Depending on your area of work, writing needs, and preferred platforms, you might be able to skip out on Grammarly entirely.  Certain features can be improved and should be considered before deciding to use Grammarly.

Compatibility Is Not Always There

Grammarly does work with most sites but not with everything. One area where it does not function is in the Google Drive suite – specifically Google Docs. If you frequently use that platform, Grammarly might not be that useful for you. Grammarly is also not compatible with Microsoft products, like Word, on Mac laptops. 

Grammarly is currently in beta testing for Google Doc compatibility. However, as of right this writing, it is not a solidified feature. 

Grammarly is compatible with Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Edge. It is also compatible with Microsoft Office applications on PC products, iPhones, and Android products. This is useful if you need to avoid constantly pasting emails, social media content, and other works into a word processor to determine if it is suitable for publishing.

Grammarly is also compatible on platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack, Salesforce, LinkedIn, and Jira. 

Freedom Is Limited

While it does cover a lot, the Grammarly free version is still rather limited. It serves one main function, which is basically grammar and spelling checks. If you just need basic grammar and spelling, you will be good to go. For some people, this is sufficient. If you are just looking to have an email proofread, the free version will deliver in this capacity. The checks are more in-depth than word processors, so it does still offer sufficient coverage.

If you need more in terms of capabilities and checks, look into a Grammarly premium review. Grammarly premium offers more features for the writer who needs more assistance. If you are a freelance writer, constantly drawing up important company pitches, or just really need help to create stronger sentence structure, look to premium.

In the meantime, if Grammarly considers adding additional free features, it could close the gap between the two service levels. The service is constantly expanding, so it will be interesting to see where the service continues to go.

Adamant Advertising

As with any free service, Grammarly thrives on advertisements. Specifically, the site promotes upgrading to premium. The level of emails can be annoying for some people. Opting out of the email reminders can be sufficient in avoiding this. However, you’ll still see advertisements through the Grammarly extension. This con is really a matter of personal preference. It all depends on how quickly pushy marketing can cause a headache. Of course, this all stops if you upgrade to premium.

Real-Time Means Real Internet

The real-time grammar and spelling check feature is great for most people – but there is a downside. It requires an internet connection for the real-time check to work. If you are working offline or on the go, you might have to wait for an internet connection to conduct the final check. In a time crunch, that can be a serious downside.

Writing While Distracted

Sometimes while writing, you get in the zone and strive to block out the rest of the world and eliminate distractions. Grammarly’s real-time edits can easily become that distraction. Constantly seeing edits and errors as you write can break your focus. At worst, it can derail your train of thought as you try to write. If you need to be in the zone, Grammarly might prove to be distracting.

You can minimize these distractions by disabling Grammarly during the initial writing process. It is definitely useful in the revision process though. It will help you to identify inconsistencies and errors. Again, you would need to learn your personal preferences and make adjustments based on that.

Infinite Styles

In terms of academic writing, there are several types of academic styles. A paper might need to follow APA, MLA, or any other number of styles. This means not all nuances are picked up on. Grammarly might misplace commas or other small errors just because each style has different expectations. This means you need to constantly keep in mind what the end goal is and following the correct citation styles. 

Pros
  • Fast real-time results
  • Accurate and doesn’t make many mistakes
  • Easy to understand
  • Customization
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Mobile friendly
Cons
  •  Not compatible with everything
  •  Limited freedom
  •  Ads on the free version
  •  Needs an internet connection
  •  May be distracting
  •  Miss certain styles

How Does Grammarly Compare to Microsoft Word Check?

Yes, Grammarly is free, but so is the spelling and grammar check tool built into Microsoft Word. Don’t they just accomplish the same task in very similar ways? The answer is no.

Microsoft Word can only accomplish so much. It does not offer the same level of suggestions as Grammarly – specifically, paying attention to context and sentence structure. You can use the incorrect conjugation of a verb or form of a word and not expect Microsoft Word to pick up on that where Grammarly can. For example, Grammarly may be able to pick up on errors like the one in this very sentence that Microsoft Word did not pick up on. Did you catch it? Maybe you should look again.

How Does Grammarly Make You a Better Writer?

Whether you write professionally, as a student, or just for fun, Grammarly can help make you a stronger writer. Think of Grammarly as a coach. It explains where you went wrong in the game and provides examples for improvement.

For most users, Grammarly helps with identifying and changing:

  • Overuse of certain words
  • Restructuring lengthy and/or wordy sentences
  • Identifying weak adjectives and providing better options

Grammarly tracks these weaknesses to help formulate a report for improvement over time. You might find you constantly end sentences in prepositions. Or, you might learn new rules of grammar that you have unwittingly been breaking for some time.

Who Is This App Good for?

Overall, Grammarly is especially suited for people looking to become stronger writers and who might fall into the following categories:

  • Professionals seeking to produce grammatically accurate presentations, emails, and social media posts
  • Non-native English speaker looking to create content in English (or any other non-native language)
  • Seeking to create engaging, clear, and concise writing
  • Avoiding typos, grammar mistakes, and glaring misspellings of words
  • In need of a real-time grammar check on virtually any platform
  • Employer checking to see if ghostwriters potentially plagiarized
  • Marketers, copywriters, and content writers
  • Students, bloggers, and authors
  • Owners of digital companies who rely on online content

Grammarly for Business

Recently, a new version of Grammarly rolled out specifically for businesses. It has similar features to the Grammarly premium as well as additional features such as:

  • Priority 24/7 support via email
  • Centralized billing
  • User management and admin controls for security and privacy of the team’s work
  • Monitoring tools for examining engagement trends

This business service is $15 per member each month and is viable for a team in need of spelling and grammar checks. The new business model is one example of how Grammarly is expanding its services to match customer needs.

Does Grammarly Replace a Human Proofreader?

 So, with all this talk of Grammarly, it leads to the question: Does it replace a human proofreader? The short answer is no, it does not. The human touch cannot be replaced as this perspective provides context Grammarly doesn’t always pick up. Just like Microsoft Word, Grammarly can sometimes offer the wrong suggestions. You still have to check each identified error, no matter where the check is coming from. At the end of the day, you are writing for other humans to read, so you need to make sure it makes sense to other humans.

Basically, the bottom line is if you are writing a full-blown novel, you still need a human proofreader. That being said, the checker does make the task of proofreading much easier.

Is Grammarly Safe?

Since Grammarly is checking a number of personal platforms, like email and social media, safety is obviously a concern. Before you check the privacy policy agreement box, consider what is actually in the policy. Currently, the policy states writing is transmitted to Grammarly’s servers via the internet. It has been reported the Grammarly browser extension has had a few security concerns in the past.

With this process in mind, Grammarly software is not able to 100% guarantee security. In a more practical sense, think of Grammarly security as similar to sending an email. This means you might not want to use Grammarly for overly sensitive legal documents or commercial proposals. If your company has strict data management policies, you might need to look elsewhere. In any other situation, Grammarly remains a safe option. It is always important to consider the safety of a tool that can modify your personal input on various platforms.

How Exactly Do You Use the Tool?

 Grammarly works in a few different ways. It can be incorporated through an extension or a few other methods. These methods include:

  • Copy and paste directly into Grammarly for grammar checking, spell check, and proofreading.
  • Import the document directly from the word processor to be checked
  • Directly write into Grammarly and use it as a writing app to see errors as you go
  • Install the Grammarly plugin directly into Word. This enables it to check as you write (note: not applicable on MS Word for Mac)

Of course, the most direct way is to install the Grammarly browser extension. This allows Grammarly to check even as you use the web. The extension is available with the free version. This is great if you want Grammarly to check emails and social media posts as you browse the web.

Once installed, the tool underlines mistakes in a few different colors. Red indicates basic grammar and spelling mistakes. Advanced errors like style and best practices are underlined in yellow. This capability is specific to premium users. Hovering over these indicated phrases or words opens the option to fix the error or read a detailed explanation of the reason behind the mistake. The explanations are useful as they provide example sentences to let you know how you could make the sentence stronger.

Setting Goals and Insights

A new tool Grammarly has added revolves around understanding goals and insights as a writer. The Goals tool launches when a new document is imported. It will help to adjust edits based on what you need for your writing. For example, you are able to specify the intent of the piece. You can let Grammarly know if you are writing to describe, inform, tell a narrative, or convince the audience. You can also set goals for emotion and style.

Other goals are applicable to Premium subscribers. These subscribers can choose between intended domains, such as Creative, Technical, or Academic.

As for Insights, this is another highly useful and new tool Grammarly is offering. It showcases general data like the word count and projected reading time. It measures readability metrics and vocabulary as well. The calculations are based on the comparisons against other Grammarly users.

The Readability score is centered around the Flesch reading-ease test. This test measures the estimated level of education a person would need to read your text easily. The higher the score, the more readable the piece. If you are writing for a specific audience, these are all very useful tools. It brings Grammarly to a higher level than just a simple spell check.

The Insights also come in the form of a weekly invite to let you know the writing activity of the past week. Again, it shows the common errors and provides some statistics to consider. Some of those statistics let you know how many distinct and unique words you have used and how many words Grammarly checked.

Is Grammarly Worth It?

So, is Grammarly worth it? It certainly is not going to replace your book editor or the perspective of another human. However, it is going to help supply quality content any writer would be proud to call their own. It is useful in helping to identify errors and easy to use. Overall, it is worth at least trying out to determine if it fits your needs. In the end, it can help you recognize common mistakes to avoid them in the future.

As this guide outlines, Grammarly is not for everyone. This is especially if you are particular about your writing environment or work with sensitive information. For most writers, however, Grammarly can be a useful resource. Try it out to strengthen your blogs, emails, posts, proposals, and more.

Is The Premium Version Worth It?

There are a few features in premium that may be worth paying for. The plagiarism checker is a feature that we would normally pay a stand alone tool for so this part is definitely worth it. As for the vocabulary enchantments and writing style checks, they are useful if you rely Grammarly more and you find that you prefer not to have a proofreader but to quickly edit your own posts. If that’s the case, then premium is definitely a must for you (compared to the free version) and it should be paid for with the money you save from not hiring a proofreader. But don’t forget that a proofreader can’t check for plagiarism and a good one will cost some money.

To continue improving your abilities as a writer and lifelong learner, check out our other articles here at Self Development Secrets! From grammar checkers like Grammarly to quick self-education apps like Audible or Kindle Unlimited, our reviews help you to discover the many ways in which you can optimize your personal and educational growth.

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