It’s not a secret that website content helps drive traffic for all businesses. The writers behind this content often rely on tools that help improve the caliber of their writing. One of the most popular tools is Grammarly and its Premium subscription model.
If you need to become more familiar with Grammarly or what its paid features can do for your writing, then take a look at this review and decide if this tool could help your writing out.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a writing assistant and editing program designed to help writers of all kinds improve their work. It uses a language generation AI with trillions of writing samples as part of its database to scan writing and look for errors.
This generation model, called GPT-3, has quite a bit of backing in the tech and AI industries. Though new models of GPT will come out soon, Grammarly uses the best model out now to help writers improve their work.
Why is Grammarly Important?
Grammarly matters for those that need their writing to look good and read easily.
Grammar and spelling mistakes take away from the message of your writing by distracting or confusing the reader. A large number of these mistakes can cause a reader to give up on an article and move on to the next piece.
Grammarly helps writers identify immediate or obvious mistakes with just their free tools. Paid versions of the app give a deeper analysis of pieces, including tone and word choice.
Who Needs Something Like Grammarly?
Writers are the obvious audience for tools like Grammarly, but the truth is more folks than that could benefit from the application. Grammarly will be necessary for anyone trying to make their work better.
Given how many of us write emails or messages for work, Grammarly can make a big difference for almost anyone. Improving how your written communication sounds at work can help increase the chances folks take what you have to say in emails to heart.
Even quick messages made by social media accounts can benefit from a review by Grammarly. Large accounts can save embarrassment from mistakes or errors with just a few seconds in the application.
Can You Trust Grammarly?
Using an online tool to check a web article or blog might not concern the average writer, but business or medical professionals might have some pause.
Many businesses guard sensitive information against online applications due to the chance it could leak after a breach on the website. Thus, Grammarly works to achieve and maintain several security credentials for its users, including:
- ISO 27001:2013 protocols and practices
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) compliance
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliance
Additionally, users can request data reports from Grammarly about what information they keep about users.
How to Use Grammarly
With the basics of Grammarly covered, let’s look at the different platforms Grammarly offers to users as options to access its tools:
Grammarly Web Application
The most accessible of Grammarly’s tools is its web application. This platform works for the free and premium accounts you can make with the website.
To use the web application, you would log into your Grammarly account and enter the My Grammarly tab of the application.
From there, users can click on the New button towards the center of the web page to create a new document. Pasting or writing content into this page will allow Grammarly to start reading the piece and identifying any issues the writing contains.
Grammarly Browser Extension
Grammarly also offers a browser extension. This extension works with Google Chrome and Chrome-based browsers, meaning users of browsers like Edge, Firefox, or Safari will miss out on this tool.
Otherwise, the extension works similarly to the web application. The main difference is that the extension reads the writing you do in applications like emails and messaging apps to check your writing.
Users can also go into the browser extension to adjust their review settings and access the web application with a single click.
Grammarly for Microsoft Word
Keeping with the theme of plugins, Microsoft Word allows for outside applications called Add-Ins to work with the program. Grammarly maintains a Word Add-In that brings its review capabilities to the popular text document editor.
After opening Microsoft Word, you can go to the Insert option and choose the Add-Ins listing from the menu. When the pop-up window shows up, you can search for Grammarly and wait for the download to finish after choosing Install.
Grammarly’s Word plugin operates much like the browser extension. Users can review the spelling and grammar of their writing with Grammarly using both the free and premium versions of the app, depending on their account subscription.
Grammarly for Windows
In addition to the web options above, Grammarly offers a downloadable program compatible with Windows systems.
Rather than copying and pasting text into the web app or browser extension, the desktop program lets you drop files into the program. From there, the Grammarly program reviews the text in that file and provides a report of what needs correcting.
The desktop version of Grammarly works best for bulk review of documents since you can drag and drop multiple files into the program. The program works as quickly as the web app, meaning you can review written work in seconds per file.
Grammarly for Android/IOS
For those that need help with their mobile writing, Grammarly has a mobile that operates as a keyboard replacement for your smartphone or tablet.
While using the Grammarly keyboard, you will receive suggestions to correct your writing as if you were using the web application. Tapping on these suggestions gives you both the correction option and an explanation of why the suggestion came from Grammarly.
The mobile app works well for those folks that write emails or messages on the fly but is not ideal for reviewing larger documents as you can’t copy them over to the app.
Grammarly Free vs. Grammarly Premium
Grammarly offers a free version that operates similarly to its premium subscription. However, the Basic version of Grammarly doesn’t have the same depth of features as the paid version.
For example, Grammarly’s free version works well for correcting basic errors in spelling and syntax. The application even gives a score based on the writing’s correctness, with a higher number signifying a better piece of writing.
However, Grammarly’s free version doesn’t offer ways to correct more advanced issues like word choice or wordy sentences. Instead, the free version points out these problems and leaves it at that.
Additionally, Grammarly always checks for tone and voice in the text submitted to the app. However, only the app’s premium version will provide feedback on obtaining the desired voice or improving word choice to create the tone a writer wants.
Finally, features that could be useful for students, such as automatic citation formats and plagiarism checks, only work with the premium version of the program. Free users will not have access to these tools at all.
The free version of Grammarly acts as an advanced spelling and grammar checker. While it will not help a writer improve the more advanced aspects of their writing, it can help the average individual increase the correctness of their writing.
Grammarly Premium Key Features
With the difference between the free and premium versions of Grammarly covered, let’s look at the key features of the premium version. Diving into those features will give you an idea of what you are paying for with that monthly subscription.
Spelling and Grammar Checks
As mentioned, the main feature of Grammarly is the spelling and grammar checks it runs on your writing. However, Grammarly does more than just proofread a document, making it more robust than the spellchecker bundled with most document editors.
Outside of the standard basic mistakes, Grammarly identifies things like misplaced commas and advanced punctuation errors with quotations or colons to help writers improve their work.
The premium benefits are obvious when it comes to the suggestions Grammarly offers. While Basic users will receive corrections for singular words, Grammarly Premium offers sentence rewrites, formatting suggestions for larger written pieces, and scores for English fluency.
Altogether, these features give writers other ways to review their writing and find places to improve the readability of their work.
Even better, Grammarly’s spellchecking capabilities and grammar suggestions are among the best in the industry. While the application won’t catch every problem, it highlights almost all of them for writers to review.
Advanced Correction Suggestions
There are several error types that Grammarly Basic users cannot receive automatic suggestions for. However, with Grammarly Premium, the errors are not only highlighted but also paired with suggestions to correct the error.
Grammarly will offer writers suggestions on how to fix these issues, much like with the basic correctness errors. The writer can then choose to use the automatic suggestions or edit the text themselves to try and fix the error in a different way.
This choice is what makes Grammarly great compared to other AI writing assistants. Some assistants will automatically change the text to match what it believes is best, which can harm a writer’s intent or a brand’s voice.
Speaking of voice, reader engagement, and clarity are two of the other advanced suggestions Grammarly Premium can make. The application tracks how a piece reads and offers feedback on how easy to read the piece is and how it would sound to the average reader.
You can have the application determine these qualities automatically or set what tone and engagement level you want to achieve to have Grammarly compare your work with a defined voice.
Part of what makes Grammarly great is not just that it identifies and highlights errors in your writing. The program also explains how to prevent recurring errors it identifies in a piece.
These explanations come up as cards, much like when you mouse over a highlighted error. However, rather than giving a suggested edit, the program will instead explain what you can do to prevent making the error in the first place.
Reporting metrics like this help writers improve over time. Grammarly Premium doesn’t have the most advanced reporting options out there, but the feedback you get here is better than with a simple spellchecker.
Every piece submitted to Grammarly has a writing report generated for it by the program. This writing report acts as a summary of all the metrics Grammarly tracks for pieces it reviews.
Among these metrics are the Grammarly score itself, as well as a tally of the different correctness and clarity errors the writer made.
Additionally, the writing report tracks more advanced details of the writing, such as:
- Reading and speaking time for the piece
- Average word length
- Average sentence length
- Readability score that identifies what grade level your writing comes across as
With these metrics, writers can review their work to see if it matches the audience they have in mind. While a technical professional might feel safe with a high readability score, other writers might seek more approachable writing.
These writing reports only come about for Premium users, making the feature a big draw to Premium for writers looking to understand how their writing sounds to their audience.
Currently, Grammarly only works with English writing. Even with the Premium subscription, Grammarly users will only receive feedback on writing written in English.
However, users can set what dialect of English they want the database to refer to when checking their work. While this might not seem like a major feature, it helps writers receive appropriate feedback on their writing.
For example, some parts of the English-speaking world use different spellings for different words. Many American spellings drop extra U’s from words that Britain or Australia might keep.
Changing this setting to match the region you want to write for improves the chances your editing suggestions match what the average reader in that region wants. Folks want to feel that the writing they read is made for them, which requires the correct spelling and vocabulary.
Both the Basic and Premium versions of Grammarly can adjust this choice. However, the Premium version ensures that all of the advanced correction suggestions apply to the dialect the writer chooses.
Part of the Grammarly feature package is the ability to use the Grammarly plagiarism checker. This application compares the submitted text to billions of published articles online, checking for text that matches these articles.
While many articles cover the same topic, few writers overlap heavily on style and word choice. These tools ensure that a writer creates authentic and unique work rather than stealing from someone else.
Basic and advanced users can use the plagiarism checker occasionally by pasting text to the checker or importing files. From there, Grammarly provides a score based on how little or how much of the writing matches online articles.
Premium users benefit here by gaining unlimited access to the plagiarism checker. Basic users can only use the checker about once per week, limiting the Basic version to the occasional paper or article.
Professional writers generally write more than once per week, meaning they will need a Premium subscription.
Still, given how fast and accurate the plagiarism checker is, it can be a powerful tool for improving your work and ensuring you don’t copy someone else.
The most accessible version of Grammarly is the online editor web application. It can be reached from any device with access to a web browser.
After signing into the web app, users can create new documents or return to previous documents. Creating new documents is as easy as selecting the New option and either pasting text or importing a file.
The online editor maintains the simplest UI of the various ways you can access the platform. Most monitors offer enough space for the text, the suggestions, and the writing report, all at once.
Since these elements have distinct windows or boxes around them, seeing where everything connects is easy.
For example, most of the advanced features will show up on the right side of the screen. Here, users can review things like advanced suggestions, tone, voice, and the writing report’s readability scoring.
For those that want to always have Grammarly running, the browser extension works best. This extension works with any Chrome-based web browser and brings Grammarly’s review tool to any tab of your browser.
One of the main benefits of the browser extension is its ability to work with applications Grammarly doesn’t support official plugins.
For example, users with the browser extension installed can have Grammarly review emails from within their email tab on their browser. This helps save time and effort over having to paste text or import files.
Additionally, the browser extension currently acts as the beta testing platform for a Google Docs plugin Grammarly wants to finish. Though it isn’t finalized or optimized yet, the Google Docs integration helps Grammarly users operate within one tab for their work.
All of these features are on top of the fact that the advanced suggestions and correction suggestions can come from the browser extension.
Outside of the web application and browser extension, Grammarly has several other ways users can connect to the service. A Microsoft Word integration, mobile app, and desktop program are all options for a writer to use.
Each of these options adds something different to the writer’s toolkit to help improve their writing.
The Microsoft Word plugin and desktop program both bring Grammarly’s premium features to their respective programs. However, the desktop program has the extra benefit of taking importing files and quickly generating reports.
The mobile app helps bring suggestions and write reports to the Android or iOS keyboard. Having access to these tools for your mobile device helps a writer create professional messages and emails while on the go.
The goal of each of these plugins is to expand the ways that a writer can integrate Grammarly with their workflow. While many writers rely on web applications like Google Docs to write, not all professionals use these tools.
Grammarly for Non-English Speakers
Before going into the summary of everything, we should talk about non-native English speakers using Grammarly.
It can be a temptation to use Grammarly for these users since it helps automatically correct any errors in writing. For those not completely proficient in English, this feature can feel like a shortcut to well-written work.
Sadly, Grammarly makes mistakes or offers poor suggestions sometimes to users. Thus, writers already proficient in English will get the most out of Grammarly since these writers will know when Grammarly is wrong.
Instead of relying on automatic corrections, non-native English speakers will instead benefit from the Grammarly score and writing reports.
Since the Grammarly score sums up how correct the piece is, non-native speakers will know at a glance if they created a piece that sounds correct to a native speaker.
Meanwhile, the writing report and Grammarly cards can help a non-native English speaker learn a little more about the language’s rules and structure.
Over time, Grammarly’s advanced feature can help a non-native speaker better learn the language. However, it will take time and effort to absorb these lessons, as well as avoid the temptation only to use the correctness and clarity checkers.
Grammarly Premium Pricing
Outside of the free version of Grammarly, there are two subscription tiers for the writing assistant service. Both of these tiers unlock the premium features of Grammarly, as well as some of the security and identification features necessary for an enterprise venture.
The pricing plans for the monthly subscription are as follows:
- Premium: $12 per month ($30 per month if you do not pay annually)
- Business: $15 per month per user
The differences between the two tiers come down to the collaboration tools built into the Business version. This subscription tier allows teams to create style guides, create roles in a team with custom permissions, and other management tools to help teams create written content together.
Educational organizations and large enterprises can receive a discount, depending on their unique circumstances. Grammarly doesn’t list any specifics on its website, however.
Instead, all Grammarly offers is that orders for their service of 150 subscriptions or more go through direct contact with sales rather than their automated shop page.
Still, even without discounts, Grammarly is one of the least expensive writing assistants on the market right now.
While Grammarly doesn’t have the specialized features some of its competitors do, the application works well at identifying writing issues and providing feedback on how to correct said errors.
Grammarly Premium: The Pros and Cons
With all of the features and ways to use the platform covered, let’s get into a summary of all the great and not-so-great things about Grammarly Premium.
Grammarly Premium Pros
Grammarly Premium offers several features that make it stand out from the other writing assistant programs out there. However, the program has a handful of key features that stand out as definite pros:
- Real-time grammar and syntax corrections for even advanced errors allowing writers to improve their writing on all fronts.
- One of the most accurate checkers for non-fiction writing out there.
- Grammarly cards offer writers of all kinds tips to avoid making mistakes in the future, including advanced errors.
- Customization of the English dialect you want to write in and the ability to add words to your account’s custom dictionary.
- Everything runs from the mouse or touchscreen, making Grammarly simple to use for most writers.
Grammarly Premium Cons
Despite all that Grammarly Premium has going for it, the program won’t always be the right tool for the job. This mostly comes down to some of the shortcomings of the platform, some of which include:
- Limited integrations with Google Docs due to the plugin currently existing in beta testing.
- Grammarly’s inability to work well with fiction writing since its database contains almost exclusively informative articles.
- All versions of Grammarly can slow down immensely when working on larger texts, such as book manuscripts and transcription logs.
- The mobile apps can take time to get used to since these apps replace your keyboard and offer suggestions as you type messages and emails.
- The pricing model forces individual users to pay annually, or else the price jumps up immensely.
Grammarly Premium Alternatives
In the spirit of being fair, let’s take a brief look at some of the alternatives out there to Grammarly Premium. There are both paid and free options that can help take the place of Grammarly and potentially better suit some writers.
Among the many paid alternatives out there, these three are the ones that compete with Grammarly the most:
ProWritingAid is an AI writing assistant, much like Grammarly. The application can check for grammar and spelling issues, as well as advanced errors like word choice and run-on sentences.
However, ProWritingAid differs from Grammarly in its reporting features. Rather than giving a readability report, ProWritingAid offers over 20 different reports for writers to check out for their writing.
Each of these reports gives a detailed breakdown of how the writer performs in things like tone, sentence variation, and overall tone. Each report comes with a PDF download if the writer chooses.
Additionally, ProWritingAid has tools to help writers break out of writer’s block. They included thesaurus, as well as quizzes to help inspire ideas and help writers break out of their funk when stuck.
In addition to a subscription model, ProWritingAid has a lifetime payment option where users pay $199 to have ProWritingAid forever. While this price tag represents years of subscription costs, it means less headache and fewer recurring costs to manage in the long run.
Overall, ProWritingAid makes the most sense for writers looking to improve their craft. The tool maintains a similar correction accuracy to Grammarly and the reporting features offer insights you won’t find from Grammarly.
Despite the low price Grammarly sells its subscriptions for, they are not the lowest out there. WhiteSmoke charges less than Grammarly, all while offering similar features.
The interesting part about this price point is that WhiteSmoke has features Grammarly doesn’t have. While both applications correct spelling and grammar mistakes, WhiteSmoke contains video lessons on grammar to help writers learn from experts.
Additionally, WhiteSmoke comes with a translation tool to help writers move their work to other languages. The application comes in over 55 languages writers can automatically translate their writing to help reach a wider audience.
These are a few of the features WhiteSmoke has over Grammarly, all while charging about half as much per month as Grammarly.
However, not everything works in WhiteSmoke’s favor. When compared against each other, Grammarly tends to find more errors than WhiteSmoke. The difference isn’t huge, but large enough to waste more time for WhiteSmoke users who have to proofread their work regardless.
Still, for users that need help with improving their understanding of grammar or who need help migrating their content to other languages, WhiteSmoke is a great choice. It could also be the right choice for those on a tight budget but who need assistance with correcting their writing.
Ginger is another budget-writing assistant meant to help those with a lower budget receive help with correcting their writing. However, what sets Ginger apart is its accessibility over other budget options like WhiteSmoke.
While WhiteSmoke comes in desktop and mobile app forms, Ginger does this as well as maintain a browser extension. This extension brings all of the features of the web application to the browser extension, much like Grammarly does with its extension.
However, Ginger’s extension works with Safari and Firebox in addition to Chrome-based browsers.
This accessibility is the focus of the Ginger team, who try to bring English education and understanding to non-native speakers. This goal is why much of Ginger seems catered to appeal to as many folks as possible, including its built-in translation tools.
Ginger costs about half as much as Grammarly per year, though the exact amount depends on how long you buy a Ginger subscription. A two-year Ginger subscription could cost you as much as 60% less than an equivalent Grammarly one.
Overall, Ginger works best for non-native speakers trying to break into writing for English audiences. While the correction tools are not as powerful as Grammarly’s, they will be strong enough to find and fix most errors while teaching you along the way.
While there are plenty of paid options to use in place of Grammarly, not all writers can justify a paid writing tool. For those writers, we identified some free options that provide some of what Grammarly offers
The Punctuation Checker tool by GrammarLookup is an online web application that reads pasted text and helps correct misused punctuation marks. The detected errors range from missed periods and commas to incorrect usage of things like quotation marks and semicolons.
The online tool only exists as a free option, meaning users never have to worry about paying to get more use of the tool. In fact, there seems to be an unlimited number of words or characters users can check with this web app.
However, as a free tool, there are some downsides to GrammarLookup.
The biggest flaw is its limitations. As a punctuation checker, GrammarLookup does not look for other issues like spelling or word choice issues. Thus, writers have to rely on their proofreading skills to find and correct these issues.
Additionally, the web app has no export tool for the corrected text. Thus, writers will have to manually copy and paste the corrected text into their drafts, which can slow down production.
Overall, GrammarLookup offers a solid tool to correct punctuation errors you think might exist in your writing. Still, it won’t help correct most mistakes as Grammarly Premium can.
Hemingway is a free online tool that helps writers pare down their writing to look more like the tool’s namesake’s writing.
The web app focuses on helping writers reduce wordy sentences, adverb usage, and passive voice misuse in their written work. These writing mistakes can make writing feel flowery and difficult to read, turning readers off from the writer’s message.
There are no premium versions of Hemingway, and users can use the app as much as they like to check their work.
However, much like GrammarLookup, Hemingway’s issue is that it cannot identify other issues with spelling, punctuation, or syntax. Thus, correcting these other writing issues will require another tool of some kind.
Additionally, Hemingway does not accept imported files, nor can it export the corrected text as a file. Thus, writers will have to copy and paste everything in and out of the application, slowing down their work.
The Hemingway editor can help a writer produce snappy and direct writing that keeps things clear for the reader. However, its niche, while important, only covers a portion of the editing most writing professionals need.
LanguageTool is an AI writing assistant that offers both a free and paid version of its platform. The free version features several tools you won’t see in other free options.
For example, LanguageTool can check writing in languages other than English for correctness. These reviews operate much like Grammarly’s basic version in that it highlights issues with correctness and clarity for the writer.
Additionally, writers can import Word documents and paste text into the web application or browser extension. The app also has plugins for popular platforms like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Gmail for writers to review their work across their workspace.
The downside to the basic version of LangaugeTool is its character limitation. A free user can only review up to 10,000 characters per day with their account, amounting to about one article per day for most writers.
Additionally, many of the features that make Grammarly Premium enticing, such as advanced corrections and language lessons, are also located behind LanguageTool’s paid subscription.
Still, for a writer or translator looking to correct writing across multiple languages, LanguageTool could offer enough with its free version to keep things moving.
Is Grammarly Premium Worth It for You?
There are many factors to consider when deciding on if Grammarly Premium is right for you. However, most of those factors come down to how much help you need with your writing and how vital those corrections are.
While well-crafted writing can only be a good thing, there is a possibility that you can go overboard.
Grammarly focuses on making writing sound professional and stiff thanks to its database. For informal messages and emails, this default tone will sound strange to most readers.
On the other hand, writers crafting content for blogs, websites, and other publications will appreciate this default voice and set of suggestions. These tools offer writers a way to get their writing to a higher standard faster than with a standard proofreading session.
So, before an individual decides if Grammarly Premium is right for them, they need to figure out how critical professional-sounding writing is for their needs. Once they have that answer, the decision to get Grammarly Premium just comes down to their expense tolerance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to the other common questions out there about Grammarly Premium:
Is Grammarly Premium free for students?
Some universities offer Grammarly Premium to their students. However, universities have to sign up with Grammarly through their education portal to access this partnership.
This partnership exists as an extension of Grammarly’s ability to provide enterprise solutions to its customers. For universities, Grammarly sets up accounts that students can use to access the editing tool through a software portal.
Is Grammarly Premium a one-time purchase?
Grammarly doesn’t have a one-time purchase option. Instead, users have to pay every month or every year to maintain their access to advanced features.
This model is different than some of Grammarly’s competition, like ProWritngAid. Some of these applications allow users to pay one fee upfront and receive all features and updates for the rest of the program’s lifespan.
How much is Grammarly Premium’s lifetime?
Grammarly Premium doesn’t have lifetime pricing. However, an individual user can expect to spend $360 per year to maintain their Premium subscription if they pay monthly or $144 per year if they pay once per year.
Business solutions tend to cost $180 per year per member of the team on the business account.
Is Grammarly 100% correct?
Grammarly, like all the other AI writing assistants, is not always correct. These platforms rely on machine learning protocols to offer a foundation of knowledge to suggest corrections.
However, language changes over time, and software is not perfect. It’s not clear that AI assistants will ever be completely correct in these applications.
What is better than Grammarly?
While Grammarly Premium is excellent for many writers, it will not be the best choice for all of them. Fiction writers will feel disappointed by Grammarly’s inability to keep up with inventing proper nouns and strange spellings.
Grammarly Premium is the paid subscription tier for Grammarly’s AI writing assistant. This application offers writers several ways to correct and improve their writing, ranging from simple correction suggestions to automated rewrites.
While this tool is great for any writer trying to improve their craft, it won’t fill every writing niche out there. Grammarly Premium will only be worth it if the features and tools the platform offers can provide an obvious benefit to a writer after reading what we listed above.