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Grammarly and the likes

Perhaps you've heard of Grammarly, the writing aid that uses AI to detect potential errors beyond basic spelling. I say potential because the truth is, if you don't have any clue about grammar and spelling rules to begin with, you may end up making suggested changes that are actually incorrect. English is tricky.

Before we go any further, did you know that there is a free version and a paid version? Unfortunately, I've never opted for the paid version, but I can talk about the free version.

Now that we have that out of the way, what advantages and disadvantages lie in the usage of Grammarly, compared to Microsoft Word's spellcheck, or using nothing at all?


First, it seems to catch more errors of different types than MS Word tools are currently capable of, so you could run both and potentially find more errors adding Grammarly to the process.

Also, I edit with Grammarly turned on to click through errors sometimes when I'm working with ESL clients who haven't tried Grammarly, because of the times I have made 900 changes to a 30-page document and I can save an hour or several hours on the first run through by just clicking accept on all "obvious" seeming errors. Then on my first read-through, I'm not stopping every two seconds to make a basic change, and instead, I can work on less obvious and more complicated changes. Basically, it helps me use my resources for the level of changes my clients need a human for, while not paying for or using double my time to get the very basics right. (I would love for clients to check it out and use this ahead of bringing me a manuscript, but I understand if they feel like this is out of his league.)


If you don't know many of the rules of usage for English grammar, you may accept a change that is inaccurate for the particular instance, and you may still have quite a few errors that aren't caught by the software. The best thing you can do is to read your work out loud.

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