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By now, we are all familiar and comfortable with spell-check. But what about grammar check? Thankfully, there is an excellent tool you can use to help make your writing more efficient. Find out if you’ve used the proper there/their/they’re, if you have commas in all the right places, used the correct tense, and much more.
Grammarly is a free grammar check program that you can use either directly on their website, or through a series of apps to add-on to your computer for Microsoft Office, Windows, or even right in your favourite browser.
I added the Google Chrome add-on to see how it works. As I’m using any website that involves typing, I get a little checking icon in the box I’m typing in that refreshes as I work. It keeps me up to date on how many errors I’ve made and allows me to open Grammarly to see their suggested changes.
If you use their website, you simply copy & paste your text into the box and the program shows you their recommended changes. What I like is that each change has an explanation of why – it’s not just “do this.” That helps me learn what mistakes I’ve made so I can avoid them again, bettering my English skills.
Of course, you don’t have to make any of their changes – and there are certainly times where using human knowledge over computer programming is useful. I did feel disappointed that it recommended I change the word “favourite” for the word “favorite” because apparently using American spelling is more universal. However, I have found this tool extremely useful. It has already proved to be helpful in my own work and life. I am thinking of adding it to all our computers.
Grammarly does have a premium option too, which offers a wider range of grammar tools, including different verb tenses, expanded vocabulary, and such. Plus, you get a neat email every week full of stats about how you’d used the tool in the last 7 days, what your common mistakes are (I’m apparently bad with commas – not putting them where they should be, and putting them in the wrong places!), and how you compare with other users in terms of vocabulary, grammar skills mastery, and using the tool.
Whether you are a blogger, a writer, a student working on a project, someone who emails, or someone who likes to post on forums or social media – Grammarly is a terrific tool to use and learn from. It’s going to make a terrific difference to your writing skills.