Grammarly Review: Is Grammarly Worth It?

Article written by: Timothy Shim
  • Web Tools
  • Updated: Oct 15, 2020

Grammarly Review Summary

Feature-packed writing tool for professional working adults and students.
  • Ease of Use
  • Features
  • Value for Money
  • User Support
  • Accuracy / Reliability
Overall
4.7

Summary

Grammarly offers flexible solution to find and fix errors in your writing fast. Grammarly Free offers basic writing corrections at $0 cost; Grammarly Premium, which comes with a whole lot more features, is relatively affordable at $11.66/mo.

In a nutshell, Grammarly is very versatile and can fit a wide range of audiences. Some of the key ones would include business executives, bloggers, students (even up to post graduate students), young writers, sales staff, and more.

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When Grammarly first came across my radar, it was with little else in the way of accompanying information. When I learned what it was meant for, dread crossed my mind as I imagined a draconian schoolmarm-like figure policing my every word. 

However, being both a writer and editor I can certainly see the advantage it brings to the table in many cases. While I am not entirely certain that this would fit all my needs, I feel that there is definitely a market for something like this.


Pros: What I Liked About Grammarly

1. Grammarly is Available (Almost) Everywhere

Using Grammarly in Chrome
Grammarly worked with a lot of third-party tools I accessed via Chrome, like Writebox

Grammarly isn’t just an online tool that allows you to upload a document to be checked. It offers a great deal of flexibility thanks to its ability to integrate with other applications. At the core of Grammarly is the original online version. Here you can upload a document to be checked or simply create one online and have it checked on the fly while you type. In addition to that, there is also Grammarly for Windows, Microsoft Office, and Chrome. 

The Windows (or Mac) version is a localized format of Grammarly online. This means that it is essentially the same thing, but downloadable to your desktop. You then run it like any other program on your computer. Essentially, it is like an alternative to MS Word.

Grammarly’s Office plugin lets it work within Microsoft Word and Outlook. I think this is a great move since there are many of us who can’t part with these applications either on a personal basis or for reasons of work.

Finally, you have the Grammarly Chrome extension which lets it work on various sites online. Although such as with Google Docs and other third-party apps.

This is by far one of the widest scopes that a text correction tool has looked towards so far that I have come across. Most will have an app you’re forced to use and will work only in that little restricted space.

2. Autocorrect is Interesting

With most text correction software requiring you to check what they have marked as incorrect, the autocorrect feature on Grammarly is refreshing. It’s like a massively scaled-up version of the mobile text autocorrect.

While this does come with a few bugs (for lack of a better word), it is nonetheless a novel port of a long-time mobile implementation.

3. Works for More than Spelling

Text correction in grammarly - user dashboard view
As you type, the list of suggestions for corrections to your text will grow

One of the core benefits which I see in Grammarly is that it works not just for spelling, but with many other areas as well. Grammarly assesses your written text based on a few areas – Correctness, Clarity, Engagement, and Delivery.

Correctness & Clarity

Correctness is more on the technical side, meaning that’s Grammarly’s catchall for things like spelling, grammar, and the like. Clarity has more to do with helping you ensure that you don’t fall prey to habits such as assuming your audience knows what you are referring to.

Engagement

Engagement deals more with user experience. For example, if you were to repeat the use of a word frequently, Grammarly will likely flag that for attention under its Engagement clause. The reason being that to keep your audience engaged, you need to use a variety of words, even if they have similar meanings.

Delivery

Delivery helps you with polish. This is the differentiating factor between writers and good writers. A good writer knows how to set the right tone in articles by instinct, and Grammarly mimics that in Delivery.

Grammarly for Plagiarism Check

Many of us have been guilty of this before – we copy down chunks of text and then edit it into our own words. However, mistakes have been made in the past and sometimes, we even have no idea how to change the text and end up leaving too much of the original in.

Guarding against plagiarism is one the most important things any writer needs to do – no matter your actual job. What Grammarly does is scan your text against tons of web-based content and lets you know if you’ve been copying too much.

Consider it a built-in safeguard.

4. Customize Your Vocabulary

For those who might need to frequently use non-standard words in their text, Grammarly also gives the option of creating an additional dictionary. Truth be told, this feature is available in many capable word processors like MS Word, so it isn’t something to really shout about.

Still, the feature is there and I can already hear the engineers and programmers among us breathe a sigh of relief.

5. Easy Correction Suggestions

If you might recall, at the beginning of this article I envisioned a language correction service like a stern schoolmarm. Thankfully, Grammarly isn’t like that at all. In fact, I was pretty amazed by the highly simplified suggestions that it made.

For the average user, this would be very easy to follow along with and even understand. This is one of the core reasons why I feel that Grammarly can be good for various applications. If you were a working professional, let’s say, you could use it to improve your writing on the fly by making use of those quickly correctable adjustments.

Personally, I think that the degree of correctness and the simplicity of its explanations makes Grammarly also suitable as a language training tool. Consider this for a student who might perhaps face difficulties in language;

By using Grammarly to type out other assignments (history, literature,etc.), you could at the same time improve your English skills. Of course, it isn’t a perfect solution, but it is an option if other methods have proved less successful.

6. There is a Limited Free Version

Grammarly for Chrome is to an extent, free. This is great for those who are looking for a single extension that can handle basic corrections on a wide range of web-based text editing platforms. Although the free version is very limited, the functionality is still there at zero cost.

Grammarly plans and pricing - free plan available
Try out Grammarly at $0 cost.

Cons: What I Didn’t Like About Grammarly

1. Chrome Extension Still in Beta

Uisng grammarly in Google doc
Grammarly isn’t really playing well with Google Docs yet as they both fight to handle corrections.

This point I have to admit isn’t really a thing about Grammarly itself, but more as a gripe for those who sign up and have to pay for it right now. The beta mode means that there are likely still bugs hovering around the Grammarly Chrome tool.

Honestly, for a plugin like Grammarly to work in an environment as broad as Chrome (you’re essentially looking at compatibility with the entire Internet) isn’t easy. Considering that challenge, Grammarly for Chrome already works pretty well.

During my evaluation of the Chome extension, I noticed three main issues that I wish have already been fixed. The first is that it isn’t WordPress ready yet, meaning that for bloggers, you have to use the native app.

The second is that the Beta seems to have issues working in concert with Google Docs. GDOC has its own spell checker and I find it to clash with Grammarly when making corrections. This isn’t anything serious, but it certainly proved annoying as heck.

Finally, most third-party-based corrections that Grammarly is active on has limited use. It functions in a very basic mode and if you want the full power of Grammarly suggestions, you’ll still have to revert to it in a native setting, such as in the app.

2. Not Suitable for Specialized Work

When I say specialized work I’m not referring to niche roles such as Engineers or the like, but more in the context of a real editor. There is more to writing and editing that what Grammarly offers at this point in time.

Yes, it is true that on a technical basis, Grammarly can help, especially if a writer is new and inexperienced. However, as you scale up, Grammarly loses out to experience and the ability to help its writers is more limited.

Some ideas of what’s lacking can be the ability to frame subject matters, tack an angle onto a story, and so on. This is by no means a serious negative since it is likely such areas are out of the scope of Grammarly’s developers, but merely an observation of the differences in the role.

3. It Sometimes Misses Corrections

There are times when Grammarly somehow misses the mark

Perhaps my biggest issue with Grammarly is that it can be an inconsistent beat on occasion. Across my tests on the various platforms, I find that form time to time it simply doesn’t work. While these instances are rare from what I’ve seen, the ones it does miss can be whoppers.

If you were to put your faith in a tool like Grammarly, there might be consequences of letting it do its thing without checking. Can you imaging an email sent to your boss on an important project getting filled with mistakes?


How to Use Grammarly?

Grammarly homepage
You can use Grammarly in Chrome. It's free! (visit)
How to use Grammarly - Adding the tool to different platforms
Grammarly Addon works in major SaaS platforms, social media networks, and email services.

Grammarly works in two main ways – as an add on or through its native online site. All work in similar ways though:

  1. Create a new document and start adding text
  2. As you go along, Grammarly will underline words or phrases that need correction
  3. Underlines of different colors represent different categories of corrections
  4. Guides to the suggestions made will appear on a menu on the right side of the document
  5. To make corrections, you can hover over the underlined phrase to see what Grammarly wants to change it to.
  6. If you want to accept the change, simply click on it.

Try for free: Visit Grammarly online

Grammarly Plans and Pricing

Features / PlansFreePremiumBusiness
UsageFor individualsFor individualsFor team
GrammarYesYesYes
ConsistencyYesYes
ReadabilityYesYes
VocabularyYesYes
Tone DetectionYesYes
Number of LicensesYesYes
Admin PanelYesYes
Centralized BillingYesYes
PriceFree$11.66/mo$12.50/mo

For annual subscriptions, Grammarly is relatively affordable at $11.66/mo. If you were to sign up for shorter terms, prices are quite a bit higher. I would say that if you were to really use it as a tool, the price is easily justifiable for long-term engagement.

Consider it as a value-add experience that can help you not just in your work, but also on an individual basis for self-development. In that context, the annual subscription doesn’t seem all that pricey, does it?

Grammarly Free vs Premium

Grammarly free offers basic spell checking and some form of policing in areas like clarity, engagement, and delivery. The Premium mode covers that but includes other areas as well. For example, in technical correctness, aside from spelling and grammar, Grammarly will also look at fluency and consistency in punctuation. Most importantly, Grammarly Premium includes a Plagiarism checker.

Conclusion: Is Grammarly Right for You?

By now you’re probably come to realize that although Grammarly is pretty feature-packed, it isn’t necessarily the right solution for everyone. If you hardly communicate for work, there really isn’t much point aside from possible self-improvement.

Yet how many of us truly are so isolated that we can’t use something like Grammarly? I would say that this is a strong utility not just for professional working adults, but as mentioned earlier as well, in an educational context.

Who is Grammarly Good For?

As a guide to users who don’t want to spend a lot of time upping their language skills, Grammarly can prove an invaluable asset. Likewise, for those who want to improve their language, Grammarly is straightforward enough not to be obtrusive while giving easy-to-understand instructions.

The above even applies to those who have made writing their career, especially young writers. However, older writers like me tend to be a bit more stubborn, so you might find the changes Grammarly wants to make quite annoying at times.

In a nutshell, Grammarly is very versatile and can fit a wide range of audiences. Some of the key ones would include business executives, bloggers, students (even up to post graduate students), young writers, sales staff, and more.

Try for free: Visit Grammarly online


Disclosure: WHSR receives referral fees from tools listed on this website. But, the opinions are based on our experience and not how much they pay. We focus on helping small businesses and individuals to build websites as a business. Please support our work and learn more in our earning disclosure.

About Timothy Shim

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.