Grammarly Review 2021

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If you’re a writer you’ve no doubt had someone recommend Grammarly to you, especially since their slogan is “Great writing, simplified”. But even if you aren’t a writer and you’re required to send emails, create documents, or write papers for work or school, it might be worth it to you to check out this Grammarly review. But how does Grammarly help correct your grammar? Does it work on every application on your computer? Will it work on mobile phones? Lucky for you, we’ve done all the research so that you don’t have to! We’ll tell you everything you need to know in this Grammarly review.

What Does Grammarly Do?

Of course it wouldn’t be a good Grammarly review article if we didn’t tell you what Grammarly does and how you can make it work for you. Here are some of the services that Grammarly offers:

  • Checks for grammar and punctuation errors: It’s more advanced than other similar types of services in that it will point out where commas should go, alliteration, sentence fragments, run-on sentences and more. And if you don’t know why it flagged a piece of writing as erroneous, it will explain with a simple-to-understand mini-lesson.
  • Spell Check: It will spell check every word you type. Grammarly has a more accurate spell checker than the one in Microsoft Word, and its vocabulary is more robust, as well. It’s probably the best spell check software on the market today.
  • Plagiarism: Like most plagiarism checkers it reviews an entire document for instances of plagiarism and tells you if it finds anything.
  • Writing Style: This is one of Grammarly’s most underrated features that we found in this Grammarly review. It will scan your writing and provide you information about the tone of your work, give you tips about the sentence length in your document, the readability of your work, and more. And it doesn’t provide this information strictly for work documents. It’s personally helped me a few times when writing messages to my friends on Facebook because it’s told me that my words sound aggressive when I was just going for sarcastic. This is a handy feature for anyone who is socially awkward or who has trouble writing in a more formal tone for work.

Who Can Benefit from Using Grammarly?

Of course we think Grammarly is a great tool, but we’re not going to write a generic Grammarly review that tells you it’s good for everyone. No tool is right for every person. Here’s a list of people who could really benefit from using Grammarly:

  • Writers- both professional and amateur
  • Students
  • People with office jobs that require them to type and write
  • Bloggers and other content creators
  • Editors and copywriters
  • Social media influencers or people who use social media for their businesses
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Grammarly’s History

Our Grammarly review will tell you about the products and services that Grammarly offers, but before we get into the Grammarly review portion of this article, it’s important to know how the company started and what sort of work they’ve put into their products and services. Here’s a look at Grammarly’s history:

Grammarly’s co-founders Alex Shevechenko, Max Lytvyn, and Dmytro Lider have been developing much-loved software since the 1990’s. They first developed a bit of software called Mydropbox in 2002, and nearly 1,000 universities signed up for it within the first five years of its creation.

Since then, they’ve switched their focus to creating a piece of software that everyone can benefit from. They created the AI-powered, cloud-based writing assistant which was launched in 2009. The beta-version was released in 2018, so it’s obvious that they took that time to work out kinks and try to perfect the software.

One of the most interesting things about Grammarly’s team is that they’ve hired an in-house team of engineers that are experts in deep-learning and AI. These engineers work with the AI’s algorithms and ensure that it will learn along with you, which is something that most software is not capable of doing.

What Platforms Can You Use Grammarly On?

An important part of this Grammarly review is listing all of the various platforms you can use it on. Believe it or not, there are more ways to utilize Grammarly than simply booting it up in a Microsoft Word document. Here are some of the different platforms and places you can use Grammarly:

1. Your Browser

The first way you can use Grammrly we’ll mention in our Grammarly review is their web tool.

With the Grammarly web tool you can just navigate to Grammarly’s website and click the “new” button, where you can either write the piece that needs scanning into the box, or copy/paste it from another document. You can also upload a document rather than a few lines of text by hitting the “upload” button instead. The software will scan your writing, make grammar, spelling and editing suggestions and you can do it all from your browser, without having to install the software or any extensions.

2. Desktop App

If you’d rather use an app on your computer, you’re in luck. There’s a Grammarly desktop app for both Mac and PC users. You can find the download link here.

3. Microsoft Word Add-in

Another excellent function worth mentioning in our Grammarly review is that you can add Grammarly directly to your Microsoft Word app. This is fantastic for document editing. To install the add-in just go to their website using the link here and follow the instructions. The only real drawback to this add-in is that it’s only available for Windows users, and you’ll need to have a computer that’s connected to the internet for it to operate properly. However, once it’s installed and working properly, you’ll be able to enjoy real-time editing suggestions as you type in Microsoft Word.

4. Browser Extension

One of the most versatile ways to use Grammarly that we discovered while writing this Grammarly review is to install the browser extension. I personally have it installed on Firefox and Google Chrome. Here’s a link to the download for the extension, which will give you instructions on how to install it to Google Chrome.

The brilliance of using Grammarly’s browser extension is that it can be used on tons of websites that are also used in your browser. Here’s a list of just some of the sites you can use Grammarly on that we discovered while writing this Grammarly review:

  • Gmail
  • Yahoo!
  • Outlook
  • Facebook and messenger
  • Slack
  • Google Docs
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Medium
  • Salesforce
  • Jira

5. Your Phone

It may be surprising to learn through this Grammarly review that Grammarly can also be used on your phone, but you can in fact use it to scan your emails and texts. This is very helpful for any professional who uses their phone to write emails and memos, or for anyone who hates all of the autocorrect fails that frequently occur when using mobile phones rather than a computer keyboard. You can find Grammarly’s mobile app in both the Google Play Store and the App Store for Android and iOS users.

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Is Grammarly Free?

Part of any good Grammarly review is giving you the low-down on the product’s pricing tiers. Of course you want to know how much Grammarly is going to cost you!

The good news from our Grammarly review is that there is a version of Grammarly that is free to use on most platforms. The best part about their free service is that there’s no limitation to it. What I mean by that is that they don’t charge you after a certain length of time or after so many uses. It’s free indefinitely, which is helpful to struggling students, starving artists, and anyone who values a free product.

But while writing this Grammarly review we found that to really get the full benefit of all of Grammarly’s features, you’ll need to pay for their premium services. Here’s their pricing tier system for Grammarly Premium:

  • $12/month for an annual subscription
  • $20/month for a quarterly subscription
  • $30/month for a monthly subscription
  • $12.50/month for an annual subscription to their Grammarly Business package

So, our Grammarly review shows that there’s a definite advantage to paying for an annual subscription, or even for a quarterly subscription. If you sign up for their Grammarly Business package you’ll have access to all of the features you receive with Grammarly Premium, but there’s also a special admin panel that gives you statistics for how your team uses the software.

So, now you’re probably wondering whether the free version is good enough and if the premium subscription is worth it. Fear not, I’ll break down both in the next section of this Grammarly review.

The Free Version

One of the most important parts of this Grammarly review is letting you know if the free version is comprehensive enough to meet all of your needs without having to shell out the cash for the Premium version. Here’s a look at all of the features that come with the free version.

First of all as I’ve already stated in this Grammarly review, the best part about Grammarly’s free version is that it’s truly free without any limitations. There’s not any obligation to pay for anything after any duration, or after any number of uses. Free is simply free when it comes to Grammarly, and that’s not a feature that’s seen often in the technological world.

The features that you get with the free version of Grammarly aren’t watered-down, inferior versions of the features you get with the Premium version. You’ll get grammar, punctuation and spelling corrections, and the checker is more comprehensive and accurate than most any other grammar and spell checker you can find, especially for free. It’s a good bet that it’s a better spell-checker than the one included with your word processor of choice.

It’s easy to identify when the tool has found a mistake because it underlines mistakes in red. You can then click on the underlined mistakes to learn more about why they’ve been flagged as errors. If you’re using the web tool you can quickly cycle through all of the errors on the right-hand side of the screen.

It not only catches spelling mistakes, but will provide you with suggestions of words it thinks you could have meant. For example, if you accidentally type “document”, it will flag the word as a mistake but also suggest words such as “document” that it predicts you could have intended to use. In this instance you can simply click on its suggestion and it will automatically fix it.

One of the best features we found while writing this Grammarly review is that if you write for multiple audiences, you have the option to select your language preference. As of writing this Grammarly review, you can choose between British English, American English, Canadian English and Australian English. So if your audience is Australian but you’re American, you can switch the language preference and it will provide you with suggestions that will meet the standards of Australian English instead.

Of course, with the free version it will tell you how many issues were found on the Premium version and be told that the problems will be resolved if you buy the premium version. However, there’s nothing forcing you to purchase the premium version, regardless of this prompt.

The Benefits of the Free Version

There actually are a handful of benefits mentioned in this Grammarly review you’ll see immediately upon using Grammarly, and you’ll likely notice a difference in your writing over time just from using the free version, which is possibly the most satisfying part of this Grammarly review. This software doesn’t simply provide you with a red underlined word, your writing will actually improve from having used it, and you can reap these benefits without paying a dime. Here are a few of the benefits of the free version at a glance:

  • You can use Grammarly both to correct mistakes in real-time as you write, or to scan an entire document once you’ve written it
  • You’re provided with easy-to-understand instructions on how to correct spelling, grammar and punctuation errors
  • You can run checks in American English, British English, Canadian English and Australian English
  • You can easily use Grammarly on different document types, in several different ways, and on several different platforms.

But with all of the great features that come with the free version, you’re likely wondering what comes with the Premium version and whether it’s worth the investment. We’ll look into that in the next section of this Grammarly review.

The Premium Version

One of the reasons you’re reading this Grammarly review is to find out whether the Premium version is worth paying for, and we won’t disappoint! Here’s what you can expect from Grammarly Premium:

First of all, you’ll get all the same features that are found in the free version, plus several others. So the grammar, punctuation and spell check are still there, the language preference, use on multiple document types, applications and platforms, and the quick grammar lessons that come along with the errors are all there.

Some other things that Grammarly Premium checks for are:

  • Overuse of words
  • Insensitive language
  • Unclear structure
  • Wordiness
  • Writing inconsistencies
  • Inappropriate tone

You’ll also get some quality of life improvements like vocabulary enhancement suggestions, definitions of words with a simple double-click, a plagiarism checker and performance stats sent straight to your inbox. You’ll also get a pop-up box that provides more detailed information about errors and suggestions, which is something the free version lacks.

While Grammarly Premium makes some wild claims about guaranteeing that your writing is not only clear, but engaging. We want our Grammarly review to be honest, so no writing software is going to make truly dull, bad writing engaging, and it’s not going to make a piece that’s full of confusing bits turn from trash to a literary masterpiece. However, it’s quite useful to keep your writing free of plagiarism, grammatical and spelling errors, and it’s a helpful tool to maintain the proper tone of a piece.

Overall, you’re more likely to see your writing improve if you use the Premium version than the free version.

Customized Feedback

This wouldn’t be a good Grammarly review if I didn’t touch on the customized feedback that you receive with Grammarly Premium. It’s one of Grammarly’s best features.

You have the ability to select several different options to describe the type of writing you’re doing and Grammarly will provide you with feedback based on your selections. Some of the things you can customize are:

  • Audience: Knowing which sort of audience you’re addressing is important not just for you, but for your editor as well. If you’re writing a piece about a piece of technology and are addressing experts in the field, it’s perfectly fine to use the jargon associated with that field, but the average person would find a bunch of technical terms to be confusing.
  • Domain: This describes the particular type of writing that you’re doing. Is it a casual, academic, business or creative piece?
  • Formality: Knowing when to use formal writing and when to use a more casual approach can be the difference between success and failure. When writing papers and assignments for school, or emails and proposals for work, you’ll need to know whether you should be using a formal or informal tone.
  • Intent: What do you want to accomplish with your writing? Grammarly gives you several options such as “Tell a story”, “Describe”, “Convince” and “Inform”.
  • Tone: How do you want your audience to perceive your words? This is the setting to let you decide if you want your words to convey tones such as friendly, analytical and confident.

Our Grammarly review is not going to tell you that Grammarly’s feedback will be as good as that provided by an actual human editor, but it’s a close imitation.

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Is It Worth It?

The question you’re probably pondering the most while reading this Grammarly review is whether Grammarly’s Premium version is actually worth paying for. And although many reviewers would avoid that question or provide you with a vague conclusion that doesn’t actually answer the question, we’ll use this Grammarly review to provide you with honest feedback so that you can make an informed purchasing decision on your own.

Is Grammarly’s Premium version worth purchasing? It is for me. As a professional writer, I use it every day, and I use it in ways that other people probably don’t. I love the tone suggestions I get because they can keep me from saying something to one of my friends that they interpret the wrong way because of the way I worded it. I have browser extensions on both Firefox and Google Chrome so it will load when I open webpages that allow me to enter text, and it works well with Google Docs, as well.

The reality is that when you pay for things you tend to get a better quality product than you would from using a free product, and that’s the case with Grammarly Premium vs. Grammarly’s free version. Even the spell-checker is more robust on Grammarly’s Premium version. The customizable feedback filters alone are well worth the cost of the subscription.

This is a great idea for not only students and writers, but people who produce content for a living, those who work office jobs, and anyone who wants to improve the words they convey to the world online. There are some jobs where spelling mistakes are unforgivable, and in those instances Grammarly Premium really proves its worth.

Where Grammarly Could Use Improvement

This wouldn’t be a real, unbiased Grammarly review if we didn’t tell you about the aspects of Grammarly that could use improvement. Here are some things that Grammarly could do better:

Occasional writers won’t pay the Premium prices: If you only write on an occasional basis, there’s no way you’ll want to pay Grammarly’s Premium subscription prices. But you’re also not likely to want to pay the $30 monthly fee, either. This means you won’t enjoy all of the benefits of Grammarly Premium because you’ll opt for the free version. And while the free version is great, if you need help with tone or sentence structure, you’re really missing out.

A free trial of the Premium services would be nice: Because occasional writers aren’t going to automatically shell out either $30 monthly or pay annual fees for something they aren’t going to use on a consistent basis, it would probably help if Grammarly gave you a free trial option. It would be nice to be able to take the additional features for a test drive and assess how often you actually use them before shelling out the money for a subscription.

It’s not available in other languages: Currently Grammarly is only available in English. So, if  you speak literally any other language, Grammarly isn’t the right software for you and it’s a good idea to check out their competitors who do offer other languages.

It’s not an editor: Grammarly can provide you with a lot of suggestions and it can even improve your writing. But the one thing Grammarly doesn’t stack up against is a human editor. You’ll always need to double-check Grammarly’s suggestions to make sure that it’s AI hasn’t erroneously offered a faulty suggestion.

Grammarly vs. A Human Editor

This is a particularly exciting section of this Grammarly review for me as a (human) writer and editor. How does Grammarly’s AI software stack up?

Grammarly is effective at picking up on many types of grammatical errors, but there really isn’t a type of AI that matches up to the accuracy of human expertise. The technology just isn’t there yet.

Grammarly can miss both common and complex errors. And it won’t pick up on inconsistencies such as if you were to say that a boy’s backpack was green in one sentence but say that it was orange in another. It sometimes misses when a word is spelled correctly but used in the wrong context, as well. Sometimes just because  you spell the word “your” correctly doesn’t mean your usage of the word is correct.

However, a human editor would pick up on such things.

There’s no way to beat the skill of a human editor. There are so many loose grammatical rules that need memorization that the skills of the AI just don’t measure up yet.

So if you’re writing something casual, Grammarly is a great alternative to hiring a human editor. However, if you’re writing something like a manuscript, this Grammarly review can’t recommend it.

Grammarly vs Competitors

If you’re still not sold on Grammarly by this point in the Grammarly review, there are other options on the market. To help you get a more informed decision, let’s see how Grammarly compares to some of its competitors.

ProWritingAid

The first option we’re going to look at in this Grammarly review is ProWritingAid, which is honestly the best Grammarly alternative on the market. ProWritingAid comes with a spellchecker and grammar improvements tools, but where it shines are the extra features that Grammarly doesn’t have. ProWritingAid will help improve and strengthen your writing by offering style suggestions and flagging this like cliches and overused phrases. With a base price of $60 per year, ProWritingAid is also significantly cheaper than Grammarly as well.

What ProWritingAid lacks is simplicity. Although it’s fairly comprehensive, navigating the features can be daunting and the learning curve is steeper than Grammarly. While the style suggestions and other features can be appealing, all this information can overwhelm new or inexperienced writers. It’s also only available as a web browser for google chrome, which is hardly ideal.

Ginger

Another service that’s worth discussing in this Grammarly review is Ginger. Compared to Grammarly, Ginger has some extra features that can be really useful in certain situations. Ginger’s suite of features include a translator with access to over 60 languages and a personal dictionary. The Dictionary feature allows you to set Ginger to ignore certain words and terms, such as technical jargon or unusual names, making it easier to structure your content without interference. Ginger’s translator will also check for post-translation grammar and spelling errors, making it extremely useful if you need to publish material in more than one language.

Ginger’s drawback is that it has a poorly optimized and ugly interface, which makes it much more difficult to use. Although it is cheaper than Grammarly, with an annual price of $89.99, Ginger’s clunky UI and inability to integrate with Microsoft Word really hinders its effectiveness. Ginger also isn’t available on Mac desktop, so Apple users are out of luck with this one.

WhiteSmoke

The last alternative worth mentioning in this Grammarly reivew is WhiteSmoke.

WhiteSmoke, like all the other good grammar checkers, is acessible on almost every platform and web browser. Regardless of your preferred browser or machine, you’ll be able to utilize all of WhiteSmoke’s features. WhiteSmoke also helps you compose professional documents and offers templates for projects like Thank You and Sorry notes. They’re also cheaper than Grammarly, with a yearly subscription of only $79.99

The downside is that WhiteSomke is poorly optimized and feels slower and clunkier than every other software mentioned on this list.

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Why is Grammarly the Best?

Now that our Grammarly review has looked at some of Grammarly’s competitors, is Grammarly still the best?

At a surface level, the other grammar programs seem to offer fierce competition with Grammarly, and make it harder to decide which one really is better. ProWritingAid and Ginger both have features that Grammarly lacks, like a translator and style suggestions. WhiteSmoke also offers templates to speed up the document forming process. All of these options are cheaper than Grammarly as well, so which one is the best?

Well, even though the other options mentioned in this Grammarly review have great features and are robust grammar checkers, Grammarly has them beat in user-friendliness and intuitive design. Comparatively, Grammarly is much simpler and easier to use than any of these other options. The layout for the desktop app is incredibly functional, has a nice minimalist design, and allows you to instantly see any mistakes you might make during the writing process.

The installation process for Grammarly is also a cakewalk, and it’s able to integrate with any of the most popular web browsers. Considering how big of a company Grammarly is, it’s easy to see why they have everyone else beat when it comes to simple and intuitive design.

With it being so easy to use and set up, it’s worth spending the extra money to choose Grammarly for all of your grammar-checking needs.

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Grammarly Review Conclusion

You’ve seen what some of Grammarly’s competitors have to offer and saw how well they compare to each other, and you’ve seen the pros and cons of Grammarly as well. But our Grammarly review still has to answer one question: “Is it worth it?”

Although Grammarly isn’t perfect and won’t outperform a human editor, it’s still one of the best tools a writer can acquire. The free version of Grammarly is perfect for people writing short-form content, like blogs or even school papers, while the premium version is fantastic at helping more professional or long-form writers with their content. However, Grammarly isn’t the best for publications like novels or textbooks. For that reason, I wouldn’t put all my faith in Grammarly if that’s the kind of content you write.

I can also recommend that any non-native English speakers pick up the Premium version of Grammarly, as it will make your work significantly easier.

Overall, Grammarly is a great tool for many kinds of writers to use and will help improve your ability to create written content and catch mistakes you might have missed.

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Grammarly Review 2021

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November 13, 2021
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