If you do any sort of writing, you’re undoubtedly familiar with Grammarly. Grammarly is a freemium online grammar tool that goes well beyond what MS office can do. It checks 150 different grammar features, including run-on sentences, missing commas, and much more.
By itself, the free version of Grammarly is great for everybody. Whether you’re a college student, business professional, and especially a writer, it catches little mistakes to clean up your copy and avoid embarrassing mistakes.
The premium version of the app takes these features to the next level integrating additional tools like vocabulary and style editors along with a plagiarism checker and genre-specific writing style recommendations.
But all this doesn’t come cheap. Grammarly Premium plans start at $29.95/month, though they do offer both annual discounts and frequent promotions that can get the price down significantly.
What is Grammarly Premium all about? Is it worth the upgrade? And how is it different from the free version. Find out all this and a whole lot more in this ultimate Grammarly review.
What Is Grammarly?
Even professional writers make mistakes in writing. It’s just bound to happen. You may use their instead of there, forget an important comma, or make some other innocent mistake.
The problem is that these small mistakes, especially if you make more than one or two, are costly. People will take whatever you have to say much less seriously.
This is where Grammarly comes in. Grammarly is a “writing assistant” and is specifically designed to help writers by pointing out spelling, grammar, and style issues that they may want to address. That’s why 20 million+ people now use the app to improve their writing in both professional and personal settings.
Grammarly is incredibly straightforward to use. You can either compose documents directly in it, upload to their servers, copy/paste from anywhere, or use plugins for Google Docs, Chrome, and Firefox.
As you type, it will highlight your mistakes and offer its recommendations. It also gives you a score based on these factors that it updates in real-time as you make revisions.
It’s important to note, however, that Grammarly, like any other grammar checker, isn’t perfect. Once you get that score to 100%, that doesn’t mean your writing has become suddenly flawless.
You’ll still want to proofread over your documents, but it’s still really helpful and will save you a lot of time in the long run by catching errors you may have glazed over.
- Critical grammar and spelling checks
- Custom dictionary
- Genre-specific writing style checks
- Grammar rule explanations
- Grammarly Editor
- Microsoft Office integration
- Missing articles
- Misspelled words
- Multiple device document access
- Native desktop apps (Windows and macOS)
- Outdated spelling
- Performance stats
- Personal dictionary
- Plagiarism detector
- Repetitive words
- Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
- Weak adjectives
- Word definitions and suggestions
How To Get Started With Grammarly
Using Grammarly is easy. You can sign up with your email or via Google, Facebook, or Apple account. After verifying your email, you’ll be able to use the free editor. Likewise, you can also add the browsers plugins to Firefox and Chrome.
If somehow, you’re still suspicious of the free and extremely popular app, then you can also check out the demo.
After trying out Grammarly for yourself, you’ll come to the crucial decision of whether you want to pay to upgrade or not.
Here’s where you’ll want to watch your email inbox because they offer promotions all the time for up to 40% off a subscription.
The cool thing is that once you do upgrade, you’ll immediately get advanced Grammarly features unlocked in your editor. There’s no separate app, and everything will be straightforward since you already know the lay of the land.
Pricing is the number one complaint about Grammarly. If you’ve been getting free spelling and grammar checking for years via MS Word, why would you ever pay to upgrade?
This is a logical enough thought. Before discount, Grammarly plans start at $29.95/month, which is pretty steep. But with it, you get an enhanced Grammarly that also includes much more than Word can ever do like:
- Premium grammar check
- Readability statistics
- Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
- Genre-specific writing style checks
- Plagiarism detector that checks more than 16 billion web pages
Whether this is worth it, it really depends on what type of writer you are. If you’re a copywriter who may borrow an idea or two from other sources, the Plagiarism detector alone is worth it. It scans the web across billions of web pages!
The plans also get much more affordable at the annual subscription price, which is $140 or $12/month. That might seem like a lot, but if it helps you keep churning out copy in record pace without offending clients over typos and other silly mistakes, then it’s likely worth it for you.
What sets Grammarly apart from its competitions is that it goes beyond a safety net to catch mistakes and becomes a “writing assistant.” It can make suggestions, help you hit specific tones, and focus on contextual issues. The goal is to help you become a better writer and improve the way you use the English language.
Here are some of the main free and premium ways it does this:
1. Mistake Correction
Grammarly catches 150 different grammar and usage mistakes. The app was developed by linguists, and it really does catch things that other apps don’t. It also offers proactive recommendations to help holistically improve your writing, as well.
2. Style Improvements And Set Goals
This is another way Grammarly distinguishes itself. Grammarly wants you to remember the modifications it makes by pointing out style issues and explaining how and why they should be addressed.
With premium, you can set specific audiences and goals to further these recommendations, so your writing always rises to the occasion.
3. Plagiarism Checker
Plagiarism is a big SEO no-no. Google does not look fondly on duplicate content. However, who hasn’t borrowed a few ideas or even expressions from somewhere else online? That’s just how the world works.
The plagiarism checker will point out any areas you need to address to go back and put things in your own words.
The interesting thing is you’ll find there is nothing new in the online world. Even if you composed your writing in a cave with no internet connection, certain phrases have just been used so many times that you’ll frequently get 1-2% plagiarism on the writing you check.
4. Grammarly Plugin
The plugin for Chrome and Firefox is really handy. With it, you can take Grammarly everywhere you go on the web, whether you’re on social media, in slack, your email, or anywhere else.
This feature really shines, however, when you’re filling out those tiny boxes on online forms. With Grammarly, you can blow them up to full-screen mode to not only see things more clearly but also bring Grammarly recommendations there too.
5. Grammarly Business
Grammarly recently rolled out these features to improve the quality of an organization’s written materials. Through this single platform, you can not only create workflows and collaborate, but also increase productivity and even create your own business brand guidelines.
If written communications are particularly important for your businesses, then it’s definitely worth upgrading to Grammarly Business.
Who Should Use Grammarly?
A little polish never hurt anyone. Even if you’re just sending personal emails or messages, it’s helpful to have Grammarly suggestions to make sure you didn’t make some mistake that takes away from the clarity of your message.
This is the best part of the Grammarly plugin and mobile keyboard. You can take these features with you everywhere you go and not just be limited to MS Word or whatever other editors you’re using.
Is Grammarly Premium Worth It?
This is where it gets a little trickier. It really varies on a case-by-case basis. Grammarly Premium isn’t necessary for everyone. You can use the plugin and mobile keyboard for free. Premium just gives you access to advanced Grammarly functionality.
Anybody who writes professionally can benefit from Grammarly. But if you already are doing this, there’s a good chance most of Grammarly’s suggestions will be well-ingrained in you already.
But if you write a lot and don’t always have the luxury to review and edit everything you submit as much as you’d like, then it is effective and definitely worth the $12/month for the annual plan. Think about it like this. If it helps you keep your clients happy and attract more of them, then that’s a pretty small price to pay.
Take advantage of the frequent promotions and get a discount on a monthly premium or quarterly plan so you can give a test drive and see how well it works for you before committing to a year or not.
- Catches more errors than MS Word
- Style recommendations and tons
- Excellent plagiarism detector
- Can use it everywhere thanks to mobile keyboard and plugins
- The readability score is a helpful way to conceptualize progress
- Grammarly introduces new features often
- Plans are pretty pricey
- No “accept all” changes button
- Not a replacement for solid proofreading
- Not very flexible. Doesn’t allow you to really customize based on your writing needs
- No offline editor
There are a lot of different paid and free alternatives to Grammarly out there. However, it’s important to recognize that all of these will still have certain restrictions. Put simply, AI and programs can do a fantastic job checking spelling errors. But grammar, style, and usage are more complicated, so there is nothing perfect at that, yet.
Most professional writers are likely already familiar with Hemingway. Regardless of whether you go with Grammarly, a competitor, or nothing at all, you’ll definitely want this in your toolbelt.
What Is Hemingway?
Hemingway Editor is named after the king of concise writing himself, Ernest Hemingway. The main things it does is point out readability stats, long sentences, and where you’re writing will be clear.
Hemingway is also free and really easy to use. You can type directly in it or copy/paste your text. But Hemingway doesn’t go much beyond this. For example, it can’t make recommendations for you or point out other types of errors.
That’s why many writers use Hemingway in addition to and not as a replacement to Grammarly or another tool.
If you’re looking for a true Grammarly alternative, it’s worth checking out ProWritingAid.
What Is ProWritingAid?
ProWritingAid does just about everything Grammarly does and has a yearly price of just $60. Grammarly is definitely better for accuracy, but ProWritingAid does well with fragmented sentences, dialog, and other creative type elements. It also offers built-in synonyms, word explorer, and better Google Docs integration, making it well worth checking out.
ProWritingAid also has a free version, so compare it with Grammarly to see which better suits your needs.
Grammarly: The Verdict
Grammarly is an excellent freemium tool that everybody can benefit from using. However, upgrading to a premium subscription is a different story. While it does unlock a host of useful features, the cost may not be worth it for many people. So, take advantage of the frequent promotions and try out premium for a month yourself to see if it’s worth it for you or not.
Ease of Use
Grammarly is a digital writing assistant that aims to support clear and effective communication. By installing this extension, Grammarly can check your writing for grammatical errors. Grammarly provides instant writing suggestions and can find and correct over 250 types of grammatical mistakes. It includes the ability to check emails, documents, essays, and more. Read our thorough review of Grammarly to see if it can help your writing.