Is it worth paying for Grammarly?

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes

Grammarly is a free app with a paid-for premium option. Is it worth spending the money for the more expensive option?

One of my clients has a subscription to the grammar-checker service Grammarly. The basic function offered by Grammarly — identifying most spelling and grammar errors — is no charge. But if you want the more robust version you need to pay $29.95/month.

That cost sounds small, but like cell phone and cable bills, it adds up quickly. That relatively small monthly fee works out to $359.40 per year, which isn’t exactly small potatoes. Of course, you can save some money if you’re willing to pay quarterly ($19.98/month or $239.76 per year) or annually ($11.66/month or $139.92 per year). But — here’s my important warning — don’t sign up for a year-long program unless you’re certain it’s going to pay off for you.

So, what’s the difference between the free version and the premium one? And how does it compare to the spell checker everyone gets with MS Word? Here’s my take on spelling and grammar checkers:

MS Word is better than nothing. But not by much. It will catch some of the more egregious errors you might make. But it won’t always identify homonyms — words that sound the same but that carry different meanings: road vs. rode, for instance. (I just did a test, and Word captured the difference between their and they’re so its artificial intelligence has improved in the last five years, at least.)

The free version of Grammarly is much more sophisticated than Word. It captures a bevy of errors that Bill Gates’ software ignores. I just ran my blog post from last week through it, and it identified 12 of what it termed “critical issues” in the post. I didn’t agree with some of them as I eschew the Oxford comma (unless I need it for clarity) but it caught a few items I had missed. For example, in the sentence:

This is almost always wrongheaded, and is a terrific way to convince yourself that you have a case of writer’s block.

Grammarly told me that I shouldn’t have used a comma after wrongheaded. Oh, oh. Grammarly was right.

Then again, for the sentence:

Some people are born tall; others are born short.

It told me that short should be shortly. Nice try, Grammarly, but you’re wrong about that.

In any case, I appreciated the little explanatory notes Grammarly provided with each “error.”  I also liked the way I was able to ignore their advice when I deemed it wrong or unnecessary.

More alarmingly, the service told me I had 30 “advanced issues,” and I needed to pay for an upgrade to find out what they were. Although it pained me to spend $29.95 for checking a single article, in the interest of investigative journalism, I decided I had to do it. (Also, while you must give them your credit card number upfront, you’re entitled to a refund for up to a week.)

So here is the information the extra $29.95 bought me:

*An unclear antecedent:

This is almost always wrongheaded, and is a terrific way to convince yourself that you have a case of writer’s block.

I think Grammarly was right that my “this” wasn’t transparent. Guilty! I have a bad way of being unclear with antecedents.

*An overuse of the progressive tense:

I’m having to re-do work that I did once before.

Yes, Grammarly was correct. I should probably have said, “I have to re-do work that I did once before.”

*A repetitive word:

Do a mindmap rather than an outline. I know your grade 10 social studies teacher told you that you always needed to prepare an outline.

I disagree. Some word repetition, used deliberately, can help “pull” readers through articles.

I won’t bore you by listing the other errors. Let me just say they were in a similar vein to the ones I’ve just listed.

So, here is my verdict about Grammarly. I think the no-cost service is excellent and I’m going to start running all my writing through it. For most people, I believe the premium service is not worth the cost. But if your boss wants to pay for it for you, then accept his or her offer.

Also, if English isn’t your first language, or if you’re dyslexic, I think the no-cost service will still catch the vast majority of errors that you need to worry about.

Finally, here’s an essential point to understand: the service is automated. It doesn’t involve a breathing human proofreader or copy editor. It’s a machine doing the work. Hence, it’s not going to offer the kind of detailed, intelligent feedback you would get from a well-trained human being.

You can pay Grammarly extra, if you want, to have them forward the piece to a real live person. But I always prefer to develop a relationship with my own living, breathing copy editor.


My video podcast last week aimed to help writers stop holding their breath while working. See it here and consider subscribing. If you have a question about writing you’d like me to address, be sure to send it to me by email,  twitter or Skype and I’ll try to answer it in the podcast.


Do you use a grammar checker? We can all learn from each other so, please, share your thoughts with my readers and me in the “comments” section below. Anyone who comments on today’s post  (or any others) by April 30/17, will be put in a draw for a copy of Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff. Please, scroll down to the comments, directly underneath the “related posts” links, below. Note that you don’t have to join the commenting software to post. See here to learn how to post as a guest.

Posted April 18th, 2017 in Gray-Grant Communications

  • Beth

    I fully agree with your assessment of Grammarly. I made the mistake of paying for a full year’s subscription before I had tried it long enough to understand that no live body would ever be there–not even when the automation finally sends a notice that Grammarly does not work on any Apple divice.

    • That said, I do know some people — particularly those who speak English as a second language — who find it very helpful.

      • Charles Broming

        I agree, agree, agree!

    • Charles Broming

      I use Grammarly on my MacBook Pro. The desktop app works, too. When did you experience this problem? It might exist no longer.

  • Diane Hook Spadola

    Thank you Daphne—always appreciate it when a coach/consultant can actually save me some money! Also, I would not have know about those grammatical errors except for the comma after “wrongdoing”…so I guess the free version is “smart enough for me.” PS I do not write for a living…..

  • Julie

    Thank you. I didn’t want to pay the monthly fee. My mom and grandmother were both English teachers so I had grammar drilled into me. I caught most of the mistakes you listed so the free version work well for my limited writing.

  • Charles Broming

    Thank you for test-driving the upgrade. I use the free version (I like it; benefits outweigh costs such as annoyance), but I’ve always wondered whether I needed or would benefit from the upgrade. The examples you offered are examples I would catch or just not write ordinarily. But, I usually get several yellow alerts that shall remain opaque until I fork over the cash for the upgrade. For unlimited usage at $30/month, or other plans, it has to be automated to make any economic sense. If you put 500 words/day into Grammerly every weekday for a month, your input would total 10,000 words. What live proof-reader would charge $30 for 10,000 words?

    Btw, “re-do” [something] implies that the [something] had been done, so the phrase, “that I did before”, is redundant. Thus, “I had to re-do some work.” is adequate. And, regarding, “This”: when I read that word (or “that”), my little, inner reading voice says, “what?”, as in ” This [insert a noun, noun-phrase, or gerund here]”. It’s automatic. I can’t control it. So, when I write or edit, my auto-edit kicks in when I see that I’ve used an antecedent without its referent.

    So many writers don’t pay close attention to the language they use. Telling a good story isn’t enough; one must tell a good story well. To tell a good story badly or not to tell it as well as it should be told denigrates the story.

    • To address your question, Charles, no live proof-reader would charge $30 for 10,000 words! But if you were to hire a real live person to edit those words, you’d get a lot more feedback than Grammarly would give you.

      • Jeovanni Fraga

        Grammarly Premium is 40% off! Hurry and jump on this offer.

    • Joshua Brown

      That was hilarious Charles, maybe because I’m reading this early into the morning and should be sleep… and finally, you’re correct!

      • Charles Broming

        Thanks, Joshua. I had hoped someone would get it…

  • Andrea and Kate

    I haven’t been using Grammarly but have always been curious about it so I really appreciate this commentary. Thanks for “taking one for the team”!

  • Tongwei Wang

    I used grammarly for several times and I totally agree with you. It is helpful for me to find some obvious grammar mistakes, but not everything.

    • The free version is very good and worth using; I just don’t think the paid version is worth it.

  • I agree with your assessment on all counts. Grammarly is a handy tool, but for me, it wouldn’t be worth the paid subscription. Every year or so, I look at it again and always come to the same conclusion. I wonder if they wouldn’t get many more subscribers if they cut that monthly fee in half.

    • I’m not sure that would work for them. In fact, they could probably raise the rates they have now and get almost as many people. Not everyone is careful with how they spend their money.

      • Christian Valenzuela

        Dang, Elizabeth H, Daphne just called you cheap or a low income earner. You gonna take that??

        • Nope, I did not. I have huge RESPECT for people who are careful with their money!

          • Christian Valenzuela

            You refuted her point and go on to insinuate she’s overly tight with money. Don’t insult our intelligence, please.

            If you go out of your way to make a reply then stand by your statement.

          • Christian, of course you’re entitled to read this any way you want. ELIZABETH: I want you to know that I was not insulting you. I am very careful with my money, too, and I respect that value.

          • Lindum

            Nobody normal would think you were being insulting; only an SJW type used to looking for vicarious insults.

        • Lindum

          No, she didn’t. She was being helpful.
          Supposing she is on a low income? So what?

    • Hello, there’s a way to get this service half the price 🙂 Just subscribe dring the black friday period. In addition, you can find several websites where you can buy it at half the price some times during the year.

    • I agree. It is like Spotify and Netflix. You make money on volume, but maybe they are focused on quality instead. I want to try the Premium. English is not my native language and I want to produce more articles for my LinkedIn. Maybe it is worth for me.

      • We’re all individuals. If you think it might help you then give it a try. Just be sure to write yourself a reminder to cancel in case it doesn’t deliver for you!

  • Christine

    I was introduced to Grammarly when I went for my BA in English. Some errors it showed me were ok, and then there were those that I did not agree with. I’m not going to pay monthly for this type of software. I mostly use MS Word’s own error checker.

    • Christine: I urge you to use the free Grammarly app. It’s much more sophisticated the MS Word! Just don’t bother with the paid version.

  • Taran

    Thanks for the test-drive and the frank assessment. You saved me time and maybe money.

  • Nagaraj

    Thank you for the article and suggestion on the Grammarly app. Once they have the email, they bombard with deals and I fell for one of their sales pitch for $79 per year. If anyone signed up like myself, make sure to turn off the auto-renewal option.
    This app is ok for me however, sometimes it is annoying because it keeps checking my writing and I hate to see the error keep going up. Sometimes, I turn it off while I write and later turn it on. I think you also recommend writers to write first and later edit instead of editing the words as one write. That is the big disadvantage with this product.
    Thank you.

    • You make a very good point about turning off such devices WHILE writing. They are only distracting and there is nothing to be gained by fixing errors immediately.

  • Dana

    Thanks for the review! I’ve been curious about it from seeing their ads everywhere but hadn’t heard a good “is it worth it?” from someone whose opinion I respect. Great post!

  • Liz Kahurani

    Downloading the app already, thankyou!

  • Albert

    Very glad you covered this. I pay for the premium version and am very happy with it. I like the advanced features and vocab enhancement. Reminds me that I often over-use words when I get into a flow. I not only put my novel pages through here but almost every email I write.

    • Chacun à son goût (to each, his own.) Glad to hear it’s working for you!

  • Kelly Hennessey

    Hi Daphne, my comment for today is one in general. I find it a little jarring that the first comment appearing in my inbox from your weekly blog is, “Don’t want to receive my newsletter anymore?” What I want to see first is the “tease” that draws me in. Somehow, to me, this beginning with a “you can quit me” strikes me as a devaluation of what you are doing. Kind of like, “I hate to bother you (even though you signed up voluntarily for my content).” Maybe that “Canadian I’m Sorry” thing? I practice PR mainly in writing content and storytelling. I have followed and read gobs of writing advice/materials through 30 years and your blog content, your perspective, your book (which I bought) are well written, insightful, fearless and inspiring. Weekly, I wouldn’t miss checking out what you sent. I even read topics that don’t really interest me because I know I will still learn something from you. Would you consider starting your emails with the “tease” and give us the “opt out” at the bottom? (I do like your reading time advisory.) Keep up the great work! You get to the heart of writing matters so very well. Thank you! (OK, maybe I did edit this as I wrote. Several times.)

    • Hi Kelly, You make a really interesting point and I will discuss it with my webmaster when I meet with him next week. Part of the reason I begin with the “how to opt out” message is that some people don’t remember signing up and no longer want to receive my newsletter. These people tend to quit right away, which is 100% fine with me. But it’s not fine when they report me as spam, as some of them do. For this reason, I want to make it super easy for people to quit if they’re not interested.

      • Joshua Brown

        Daphne, in only the few, no several now posts I’ve read, you’re one of the smart ones. Keep it up! (An edit here following the close parentheses) I’m really happy with the free Grammarly and avoided paying after reading the good information here.

  • Kelly Hennessey

    Ah, yes. So I guess a question is, how often are you reported as spamming? Are you overcompensating? I don’t manage my own blog, so I also wonder if that puts you on a “bad list”. I’m thinking more of the mentality we often have as writers/humans to focus disproportionately on the few negatives that outweigh the big positives. I look forward to hearing your conclusion!

    • I get one to five complaints per week. This is considered “normal” given the size of my list but I must say I find it very odd. The newsletter goes out every week so people will have signed up no more than seven days previously. You would think they’d remember! Anyway, as I said, I’ll speak about it with my webmaster and see what he thinks.

      • PS: Not sure what you mean when you say that you don’t “manage” your own blog. I post my own articles, and I distribute them via Aweber (I have a student who does the data entry for that for me) and I also have a webmaster. In any case, I’m not sure how anyone would know that, either way… I don’t think it could possibly put me on a “bad list.”

        • Kelly Hennessey

          I often think, “Who manages that universe spam list?” when someone checks the spam box to get off the e-mail list. (This is what I meant about not running my own blog – I feel I would know this and have a webmaster to consult and I am sure your webmaster will have these answers.) If you are considered to be spamming too much – is there a limit somewhere in the blogging universe that will stop your blog from going anywhere if you reach the limit? (I think not.) I bet your list is pretty large and 1-5 spam reports a week feels like pretty much 0. People spamming you just aren’t paying attention. Is that worth the email lead-in for the rest of us? 😉 Until the webmaster meeting!

  • KSW

    Thank you so much. I think I will download it and try it out. Sounds like an improvement over Word. (I am so glad you are in my writing life!)

  • KSW

    Oh, Grammerly is not supported for MS Office for MAC. But I can use it online. just an FYI

    • I find that very odd. I’m on a Mac and I had no difficulty using it.

      • Joshua Brown

        KSW stated MS Office for MAC which is an offline application software. So it is not odd for the fact that Microsoft only released the MAC versions of MS Office to appease “MAC’heads” which although a smart move lacks features that one would have access to using the MS Windows based version.
        FYI, Grammarly free has 0 issues with this post HAHA! However, Google Chrome spell check had 3 issues; KSW, Grammarly and HAHA.

  • KSW

    Daphne – do you use it as a plug-in to your Word?

    • Now that you say that, I think I just use it online.

      • KSW

        Thanks so much. I think I will use it that way, too.

  • DemonSeed

    It shouldn’t be as expensive as it is.

    • The free service is pretty good. If you object to the price, then just use the no-cost one!

  • Fred Parsons

    If you pay monthly, it’s $29.95 per month. If you pay yearly, the rate comes out to be $11.66/month which is $139.95 per year.

    • Indeed! I say that above.

      • Fred Parsons

        I am apparently blind. Lol.

        • No, it’s easy to miss stuff in print. I’ve done the same thing!

  • RinaX

    Thanks for this article. I’ve been contemplating springing for the paid yearly version, because I really do think that it would be helpful to me. I’m about to submit some for some freelance work that would take me to the next level if it got accepted. Your thorough review of the pros and cons is appreciated.

    • I’ve continued with the paid version since I wrote this post and it’s been more useful to me than I expected, mainly because I misuse commas so badly. Just be aware that “the next level” is pretty sophisticated, and you may not need it, even as a freelancer.

  • Keith Moore

    Thank you so much for this article, Daphne! The Seminary I attend currently pays for the premium version of Grammarly for its students, but I often wonder if it would be worth the cost if that ever went away. As a student, I find this tool invaluable! I also plan on using it for future entries on my blog,, as I am sure it will catch me when my mind tends to think faster than my fingers can type! Thanks, again!

    • Glad someone else is paying for it for you, Keith. Rest assured that the free version of the service is excellent and may well be enough for you when you get to the stage of having to pay for it yourself.

    • shellyslioneyes

      Hi. Thanks for posting your blog site. As a Christian, I will be checking it out tomorrow on January 20, 2018. 🙂

      • Keith Moore

        I haven’t posted for quit some time (I’ve been dealing with some medical issues) but I hope you enjoy what you read! Feel free to let me know!

  • Goat Airsoft

    I actually do agree with this analysis. I am a student in 10th grade this year and so far I have only had to need to the free version which is good in many ways. I might upgrade if the time is right!

    • You can probably stick with the free version.

      • shellyslioneyes

        I am beginning to write some non-fiction books. I’d like to have them published. Do you really believe I only need the free version also. I cringe at the thought of sending a publisher a “free version” Grammarly manuscript. Please let me know. Thank you. I do not have my own English teacher on hand. 🙂 Shelly.

        • Shelly: You likely have more serious concerns than grammar, Shelly. It’s extremely difficult to get any sort of publishing deal on your own. You’re likely going to need an agent. And your agent may well want you to hire an editor (in which case, you won’t need Grammarly at all.)

          • shellyslioneyes

            Wow. I’m impressed. You wrote back already. Well, I’m a Christian and I only have 2-3 yrs to live so once I pass, my 30 yr old daughter will take over the job to try to get my work published. Yes, she’s agreed and it’s in my will. I’m 48. I have my life story to tell. It’s better than fiction. EVERYBODY who hears even 1/4 of it say’s “YOU have to write a book.” So I’m going to try. But now that I’m trying to serve God, I need to keep it PG rated. I backslid for years. I’m the Prodigal Daughter. I also have ideas for “Topics” also. – “Things I’ve learned along the way.” If I must I will self-publish. I have several friends who have done just that. So there you have it. My three year plan. I write and if I run out of time, my daughter self-publishes. I already have notebooks of notes. I just have to organize and type it all on my new Windows 10 computer I was bought for just this purpose. Thanks for responding. 🙂 SHELLYSLIONEYES AGAIN

  • stella patchouli

    It wrongly recommendso to delete a comma that actually belongs…”I don’t know who she is,” he said, looking at the photograph.
    Grammarly says -NO COMMA after HE SAID. IT is totally incorrect. The comma is needed. And it goes through the entire story, tells you to delete comma after,”I don’t know,” she said, laughing out loud.
    Grammarly, again, wrongly recommends to delete comma after SHE SAID LAUGHING OUT LOUD.

    • Commas are often a matter of taste. I know this is hard to believe but they are like hemlines — the fashions change all the time.

  • stella patchouli

    Bottline, I have a feeling Grammar won’t be of much help to screenwriters or authors. I’m going to try again …before I buy it, hoping it’s worth the money.

  • Angel Escobar

    Thank you for making this post. I’m a novel writer and I’ve been using Grammarly for the past few weeks, and it’s been a really big help. Though sometimes I feel like it’s incorrect because it goes against things I’ve been taught personally. Apparently, I was getting a lot of advanced errors, and I needed the premium version. Now I know that I shouldn’t get the premium considering it doesn’t sound to worth it for the price it has.

    • One of the things that “experts” often fail to communicate is the notion that NOT everything is either right or wrong. Many issues relating to grammar reflect a choice. This is particularly true of punctuation.

  • TheOminescent

    Sadly I will never use grammarly. They thought “My wife and I” should be corrected to “My wife and me”

    • Well, both can be correct, depending on the circumstance. For example, if you were saying, “Please give the chocolate cake to…” the correct ending would be “…my wife and me.” But, of course, if you were talking about going shopping, “My wife and I are going to the store,” is the only correct way to phrase it.

      • TheOminescent

        True. I used to think it was a case of formality, with “me” being informal.

        • So interesting how we develop our own “rules” for grammar in our heads, isn’t it?

          • TheOminescent

            I learnt it from a teacher in my old school, probably me misunderstanding her.

          • Wow! So sad that a teacher would lead you astray…

          • TheOminescent

            Not really, she was a great teacher. I just had much trouble paying attention

    • shellyslioneyes

      Ha Ha. I noticed that also and could NOT believe it. There is GRAMMAR and then there is PROPER grammar. Like you, I prefer proper grammar. Thank you sir.

      • TheOminescent

        Grammarly can be grammatically correct, but it is kind of awkward. Like how grammarly suggests “forsook” instead of just writing “had forsaken”

        • This is just one of the reasons why I prefer a real live editor to an electronic one. Still, Grammarly is far less expensive than that (even if you subscribe to the “paid” version.)

  • Hello. Thank you for this great article (I found it on the net). I’m not a native English speaker, but I have to work in English, this kind of tool is very useful for me (I have to write a lot of reports… probably too many). I have been using the free version for several months and I’m not very impressed by the errors it can find compared to the tools of MS Office (in particular in the last version) or the free version of Ginger. It could be interesting to compare Grammarly to the other tools, like ginger (in its paid version which is half the price of Grammarly) and MS, or others that I don’t know.

    • I’ve never heard of Ginger. Will look for it and perhaps will be able to get a blog post out of that app as well. Thanks for mentioning it, Olivier!

  • Seattle_bound

    You were wrong to disagree. Grammarly was correct. Grammarly looks at structure and word choice. Your sample sentences look unprofessional, childlike. I would have reconstructed the wording to:

    In school, it is not always necessary to do an outline. One can choose to prepare a paper with a mind map instead.

    *A repetitive word:

    Do a mindmap rather than an outline. I know your grade 10 social studies teacher told you that you always needed to prepare an outline.

    I disagree. Some word repetition, used deliberately, can help “pull” readers through articles.”

    • I agree with your comment about repetition. It’s often a useful tool for pulling readers through articles. But with respect to your comment about being “wrong to disagree,” I also have to observe that there are many instances where the issue is NOT right vs. wrong, but rather matters of choice.

  • Thanks for this excellent analysis. I’ve experienced most of the things that you have mentioned.
    I think the paid service is a bit overpriced. Do you know of any alternative which are just as good or better?

    • I’ve recently started using ProWritingAid which is more robust than Grammarly (also a bit more complicated.) The price is $40 USD per year with deeper discounts if you buy for two years or more.

      • Seymore Cash

        How is the Plagiarism Check for prowritingaid compared to Grammarly? Seems like prowritingaid is a better deal for $40 a year you get more than Grammarly offers.

        • I’ve never used the Plagiarism Check for either. I’d offer to do it for you but I’ve never used a Plagiarism Check in my life and I wouldn’t know what I was looking for. (If you can explain what I should look for, I’m willing to try.)

          • Seymore Cash

            Thanks for the quick response. I’ve used Viper in the past and have some colleagues that have used Grammarly which is how I found your site by the way. The way I’ve used it before is to make sure our content writers were not just copying someone else’s work and also to make sure our content was as unique as possible.

          • Hmm, will talk to my university-age daughter and see if she can show me. I know university students are required to perform such checks these days. Not something I ever had to do in the past….

          • For plagiarism checking, I use copyscape which is pretty cheap.
            I pay $10 once in a while (probably 3-6 months) to buy around 200 credits. 1 credit means you can check one document or URL etc.
            I use it to check the work of some of our writers whom we employ from time to time. And it works pretty well.

      • That surely sounds like a decent price. I am going to check it out. Thank you 🙂

  • Thank you Daphne for trying out Grammarly’s premium plan and letting us know. I just want to know, whether these advanced issues are necessary to be corrected for a basic English readers?

    • No, I don’t think they are necesary. They can improve your writing but the basic grammar is available in the “free” version.

      • I am using basic free version and feel satisfied

  • Puf Mag
  • Madeline Cole


  • Naomi Cole

    Hi Daphne I was wondering would grammarly be at all worth it for school? I’m currently a high school student and we are constantly writing. Teachers are extremely picky on grammar, word choice, etc. If grammarly can pick up on those tiny mistakes it can greatly improve my grades as a whole, but if it’s not making too much of a difference in the writing itself then I’m not sure I would be willing to pay the price.

    • Why don’t you start with the free version? The free version is very good and might be more than enough to improve your grades.

      • Naomi Cole

        I am using the free version right now, but a lot of critical or advanced errors pop up and that’s where I’m debating if I should buy premium

        • My own experience — having used both systems, the free and the paid — is that they WANT to freak you out with the label “critical” errors. To my mind, they are not all that critical. If cost is an issue for you, you might want to look at ProWriting Aid which is a little less expensive but which does way more stuff for you.

          • Naomi Cole

            Okay thank you so much!

  • Lori Morrell

    Just fyi, Grammarly premium is only $75 a year until midnight tomorrow night (Jan. 5, 2018) which is much less than the regular price.

  • Lindum

    Personally, I don’t need Grammarly. But I have a decent education.However, from what I read on the web, even on sites like the BBC, I’d say many need it. How often do we see ”if I was (sic) you” on the BBC?
    Furthermore, $30+ a month ain’t cheap.

  • Parker

    It is great that they offer help free because asking for payment is ludicrous. From what I’ve notice, kids in school depending on it to be right will suffer. Any program that does not know the difference between then and than has no business charging for services. The free version will help you with punctuation right much but do not go through it blindly and accept every change it offers, that can lead to more errors than you started with. I’m hesitant to recommend it because when it’s wrong with simple things such as: than, then, everyday, and they’re it’s hard to put trust into it…

    • Not sure I agree that payment is ludicrous. After all it takes work to set up a system like this and to maintain it. That said, I do think their price is too high.

  • Let’s talk

    I got the premium version for three months because I’m at the final editing stages with my novel and I’m loving the piece of mind that it’s finding every detail. It found thousands of things on my first draft and then when I handed it off to beta readers it was a much cleaner draft.

    So my recommendation for novelists is a hybrid approach. Use the free version normally. Then upgrade right before you’re about to hand to an editor or beta readers so that you can get the most for your money. For me, the three month window seemed the safest. Editing always takes longer than you expect.

    • That’s a really good suggestion. Another tool book-writers might want to consider (when they’re in the final stages of a self-edit) is ProWriting Aid.

    • NOT a nit-picker – more curious – was your comment processed through Grammarly? If so, how come it let ‘piece’ of mind’ slip through?

      • The piece of mind comment came from a guest, not from me, so it was not processed by Grammarly.

      • Let’s talk

        Kudos to you Jack M.D. Owen for picking up on that. Sorry for the late response. There is the “I’ll give you a piece of my mind” saying, so it might not pick up on that. I bought a full copy of Word, so I’d probably use both grammar checkers to be sure. Sometimes I don’t have the patience to wait for the grammar checker. It did find a lot of those, like I’m in a “fowl mood”, which would mean I’m feeling like a bird. Even with dozens of beta readers, later people will find stuff everyone else missed. Multiple passes with multiple grammar checks and many eyes gives the best results. It probably helps to start with better eyes, like yours. However, I’m less impressed with Grammerly at this point.

        I finally got my novel on Amazon, fulfilling a life-long dream. It’s getting great reviews, but marketing is so soul crushing. I might just try to forget about it for a while and write the next book. I got such high accolades on the book. One of my beta readers even said my book helped inspire them to write again. I know commercial success isn’t what defines me, but after such lofty expectations it’s so disheartening.

        The Internet yawned.

  • Richard Tibbitts

    You don’t need Grammarly if you have a decent education.

    • I’m afraid I have to disagree with you Richard. Many people with an excellent education can still make mistakes. Also, Grammarly marks issues such as unclear antecedents which we ALL slip into from time to time as a result of conversational habits.

    • Sharad Mittal

      I have to disagree. Education and English are not synonymous. Great education does not mean that one will have excellent/good/acceptable English. I know of many extremely skilled, highly educated individuals whose English is not good.

  • M Iyer

    I am not happy with Grammarly Premium – all it did for me is add “the” everywhere.. it also is kind of invasive – browser, MS Office. No telephone customer service. Trying to cancel service and hit a stonewall! Mala

    • I haven’t wanted to cancel yet so I can’t speak to the customer service side. In terms of the app wanting to add “the” all over the place, I find that irritating, too. But you CAN say no to that suggestion. Remember that all Grammarly comments are suggestions, not demands!

      • M Iyer

        Yes, you are right, Daphne. I could say NO. Disappointing that the only suggestion in my documents is “the.” Either my English is perfect or Grammarly is deficient.. I signed up because of a whole lot of promises on website, and no caveats.

        • I hope you paid only for a month and not for a year!

          • M Iyer

            I did pay for 1 year [foolish me!]. But, since I just started the subscription, they refunded me unused months – persistence helps!! So, cannot complain.

          • Glad you hear you got your money back!

  • Bob Peck

    Thanks for the review of Grammarly and for the mention of ProWritingAid (somewhere in the comments, but I lost track now). ProWritingAid caught some additional issues in a message that I had already run through Grammarly, though to be fair, I expect the same thing would happen if I had run it through ProWritingAid first and Grammarly second. I think for now I’ll use the two free versions in tandem. I perceive the paid versions are giving recommendations in terms that are going to be over my head. I had no idea when I was in school that I would ever end up writing articles, so never bothered to figure out the difference between verbs, vowels, personal pronouns and all the other grammatical terminologies.

    • Actually, both are okay with the terminology they use — nothing too daunting. But I agree, the level of “error” they seek to correct is much more particular for the paid versions and probably unnecessary for many people,

  • Sampath Bandara

    Thanks for the advice

  • Natalie Sowards

    Would you recommend Premium Grammarly for those working on a scientific dissertation?

    • Hmm, I don’t think it will be worth the money to you. The free version is likely enough.

  • Eliaquim Sousa

    Because English is my second language, I am always afraid of making too many mistakes when writing. Grammarly loomed large to me because it seemed to be the perfect solution for my problems. For me, paying the monthly subscription wasn’t worth it, since I only wanted to try the app; the yearly subscription fee was equally prohibitive. I read and read reviews online, and most of them had a vested interest in selling new Grammarly subsciption, since they can make a little money for every new subscriber they lure into buying it. Yours was the only one I read that helped me see it from a different perspective. I think I’ll just buy myself a thesaurus (Oxford’s is superb, I have used it in the past, from the library) and be more dilligent in my writing. Thanks for your review!

    • You’re very welcome. I particularly dislike the way so many people collect affiliate fees on the Internet and this stops them from providing honest reviews. (I hope you’re also using the free version of Grammarly, which is pretty good.)

      • Eliaquim Sousa

        Yep. Their free version fits the bill nicely. 🙂

  • JD

    I agree 100%. I think someone else mentioned this already, but I use a combination of free grammarly and free prowritingaid. The “free” parts of prowritingaid seem to focus on almost the same stuff as the advanced grammarly. I am not in school or writing for monetary gain, so I just can’t justify spending the money. People get to read my writing for free, so, while I will do my best, I won’t spend money on extra software or trained editors. Peer editing was a bust, too. Some would just try to force *their* style on me and others . . . well, I once had one who changed all of my commas within dialogue tags into periods *shudder*. Anyway, if I were to spend money on either grammarly or prowritingaid, I’d go with prowritingaid. I actually found that, if it is style more so than grammar and spelling you are concerned about, there are free options that can be used in addition to the free grammarly (Hemingway Editor, slickwrite). I quite like slickwrite. It SHOWS you all of the adverbs, prepositions and whatnot you used but NEVER says “This is wrong, remove it”. It’s up to you to decide if a passive voice index of 50 is too much, or if 100 adverbs is too many. It tells you that they’re there, but not what you’re supposed to do with them. I do believe that grammar, punctuation and spell checking can be automated reasonably well, but style? Nah. It’s just too complex. I can think of a few published authors who would break grammarly premium.

    • That’s a really good idea to use a combination of free services. Wish I’d thought of that! Thanks for suggesting it.

  • Kieu

    Hello, I’m a uni student but because English is my second language so I’m thinking to buy Grammarly premium. After reading this, I might have to do another research again.If possible can you recommended me something similar to Grammarly, I’m willing to pay if the price is not too high.
    Thank you

  • Greg Watson

    I’m using it for my first novel. Even after using a paid proofreader, I’m finding errors. Since I’ve also splurged for a cover design, I may get the paid version of Grammarly.

    • Hi Greg, I hope I’ve caught you before you’ve spent any money. I don’t think getting a paid version of Grammarly will help you. Any “typos” caught by Grammarly will be picked up by the free version. (The paid version simply addresses slightly more complex grammatical problems — NOT typos.) It’s not unusual for a paid proofreader to miss an error or two. But if they’ve missed more than that, perhaps it’s a sign that you didn’t have a very good proofreader. My best suggestion for proofing (especially if you want to try to do it yourself) is to change the font (I use Papyrus 18 pt.) and to READ ALOUD. If I take these two actions, I will catch many more errors.

  • Dave K

    I think a good dictionary would help. After a while, people might even become a little knowledgeable about the English language.

  • Dragoon Azure

    Nice article miss! English is not my native language and i was wondering if I should try premium. This is very useful1

    • Be sure to try the free version first. You may not need the premium!

  • F. Brooks

    I’m a user. It catches my mistakes, gives food for thought, one of the bigger things is that if I make a typing error, Grammarly is on it quickly. But, once you decide it will work for you the only way to go is a yearly subscription.

    • I think it’s good, too. But the free version will catch all the spelling errors. So I don’t think people necessarily need to get a subscription to make it work for them.

      • F. Brooks

        True. I guess I was posting if your going to pay for a subscription, get the yearly and reap the savings.

  • Karima Ali

    Hello, can anybody suggest which software is better for proofreading of scientific research paper?