Contributing Author: Suha
Among the vast array of spell checking software out there, we have all undoubtedly heard of Grammarly – the immensely popular free error checker, Grammarly. The popular software is amongst the top rated grammar checkers available in recent times. It comes in four versions: one is free, and the rest are paid Grammarly
Premium services which detect more profound errors and offer short explanations behind them. In today’s article, we are going to take a long and thorough look at the two types of services that the grammar checker is offering, and finally answer the ultimate question: is Grammarly really worth the price?
To start off, let’s take a look at the three different paid packages that Grammarly currently offers its client base:
- Grammarly Premium (monthly subscription): charges $29.95 each month which sums up to $359.4 annually
- Grammarly Premium (quarterly subscription): charges $19.98 per month, and is billed as a single payment of $59.95 (annually $239.80)
- Grammarly Premium (annual subscription): charges $11.66 per month, and is billed as a single payment of $139.95
From a quick look at the packages, it is clear that an annual package is undoubtedly the most pocket-friendly deal of the three. However, the real question remains – exactly how much more beneficial are you when using the paid pack instead of the free one? To help you decide, we have put together some of the main differences in features between free Grammarly, Grammarly Premium and MS Word below.
- Critical checking of spelling, grammar and punctuation are available in both free and Premium versions:
The free version of Grammarly does a great job checking for errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, word style and much more. For example, if I type the sentence,
“At first,I was a bit skeptical about the total idea of commuting a bike.”
Grammarly would point out two mistakes. First of all, it would indicate the lack of a space after the comma and then it would highlight the word “total” – total could be replaced with a much more fitting word such as whole. In this way, free Grammarly checks the entire document, and the result is an excellent, error-free document.
- Premium Grammarly has an advanced plagiarism checker, grammar checker, and some vocabulary enhancement sections
The $29.95 a month subscription pack will get you three extra features as I’ve named above. Among them, the plagiarism checker is probably the most effective option since Grammarly checks from countless documents on the web to detect any plagiarism. Apart from that, he advanced checker points out errors such as unclear antecedents, repetitive word usage and more. To be honest, if you are a regular blogger or writer it may very well seem unnecessary to pay the extra for corrections like the following:
“Do a mind map rather than an outline. I know your grade 10 social studies teacher told you that you always needed to prepare an outline.” - repetitive word usage.
In this sentence, the use of the word, “outline” did not feel out of place. Thus the user may decide to ignore the Grammar suggestion. This example brings us very nicely on to my third point
- The grammar corrections are not always correct!
Grammarly is, of course, automated software. The software checks the document according to built-in rules which do not always produce the correct result. For example, in the sentence “some people are born tall; others are born short” Grammarly will suggest correcting the word “short” into “shortly.” The suggestion doesn’t make grammatical sense, thus proving that even the paid version of the software isn’t as good as a human checker.
Despite its drawbacks, however, Grammarly is still a much better option compared to the built-in proofreaders of software like MS Word. Both Grammarly versions do a fantastic job pointing out many errors which are not highlighted in an ordinary document. Although when comparing the free and paid versions, I would say that the free software is more than sufficient for the majority of writers out there. The final decision should be made by the individual, depending on their requirements.