Grammarly Premium review

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 2, 2018
Updated • Jan 2, 2018

Grammarly is an online spell and grammar checker for the English language. It is available as a free and limited version and a premium version.

I always wanted to try the premium version of Grammarly but found it to be quite an expensive affair. Grammarly Premium is available as a subscription service; the lowest price, if you pay annually, is $11.66 right now. That's $139.95 for spell and grammar checking.

I stumbled upon a deal on Ghacks Deals recently that got me a one-year subscription for $69.98 instead (with options to renew at that price), and I made the decision then and there to become a Grammarly Premium user for a year.

How does Grammarly work?

Grammarly is available as a web service, as browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari, as Microsoft Word and Outlook add-ins, and as software for Windows.

The core functionality is identical for each of the available applications. What happens is the following:

  1. You set up the service. Setup includes selecting whether you write in US English or British English.
  2. Grammarly checks your writing as you type, or when you paste it.
  3. It does so by sending the data to the Grammarly server.
  4. Errors are highlighted after the checks, and it is up to you to go through them to either accept the correction or ignore it.

The browser extensions work pretty much the same. The extensions add a Grammarly icon to the main toolbar of the web browser to indicate that Grammarly installed correctly. You use it to sign in to your account and to disable functionality on specific sites.

The extension adds an icon to the active form as well which highlights spelling or grammar mistakes and issues using yellow and red colors. Red indicates critical issues, yellow advanced issues.

A click on the Grammarly icon opens an overlay of the text. All issues are underlined in it and suggestions are displayed next to it. A click on the arrow icon provides an explanation for the issue, for instance, spelling mistakes, passive voice use, or that words are used repetitively. A click on the suggestion replaces the original text with the suggestion.

You may ignore any issue as well so that Grammarly won't show it again.

Grammarly underlines spelling or grammar mistakes directly in some browsers as well. It did so in Chrome, but I ran into issues in Firefox. While Grammarly did display the underlines sometimes, it did not show them underneath the text.

firefox grammarly issue

You need to hover over the underline to display the suggestion and can accept the correction right away without having to open the overlay first.

Grammarly replaces the default spell checker of the browser while active.

The Word add-in

The Grammarly Word add-in adds a new tab to the Office application. A click on it opens the interface, but Grammarly is set up to check for issues even when the tab is not active. You can disable the functionality in the options.

The add-in comes with extra functionality that the browser extensions don't support. You can set a document type, e.g., technical or academic writing.

You use the Grammarly sidebar to go through the document or click on any underlined text in the document to jump to the Grammarly suggestion for it.

The Word add-in runs checks -- contextual spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and style -- by default. You can enable the vocabulary enhancement check on top of that, and disable any of the checks as well.

The Web version of Grammarly supports a basic editing interface. You can paste text into the text field, upload text, or type instead. Grammarly runs checks on the text that you type or paste, and supplies you with the same set of tools to check, accept or ignore its suggestions.

Documents can be copied or downloaded afterward. The web version supports pretty much the same feature set as the Word add-in. There is one difference though: the web version of Grammarly supports sending documents to professional proof-readers. Proof-reading starts at $1.20 for 60 words and goes up to $9.60 per 60 words if you need results within 30 minutes.

Grammarly Free vs Premium

All versions of Grammarly support grammar and spell checking. Premium users get access to additional checks and suggestions on top of that:

  • Advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context, and structure.
  • Vocabulary enhancement suggestions.
  • Genre-specific writing style checks.
  • Plagiarism Detector.

My Experience

I ran into a couple of issues right away. The Firefox extension did not recognize the sign in at first. I contacted Grammarly support, and the response was quick. I was told that Grammarly needed third-party cookie support and that I should set cookie handling to "allow all" in Firefox.

I did not have time yet to investigate this further, but I plan to set it up so that the cookies that Grammarly sets are allowed while all other third-party cookies are not.

Grammarly works fine for the most part. I tested it as a browser extension, Word add-in, and web version.

I like the Word add-in best, as it does not get in your way while you write. The spinning Grammarly icon that the service's browser extensions add is quite distracting and can't be disabled.

The Word add-in and the Web version make it easier to correct issues that Grammarly found on top of that as these are displayed in a sidebar and not in an overlay.

Grammarly finds issues that regular spell checking won't. That's useful, especially if you are a writer or write regularly.

I'm not too fond of the server-side nature of the service and the fact that you cannot disable the stats collecting. Grammarly sends weekly reports to users that highlight how productive you are in comparison to all other users of the service. Unsubscribe options are only displayed in the emails, but not on the Grammarly website.

Grammarly is expensive even when it is discounted. It is probably worth it if you are a writer, blogger or student.

Grammarly Premium review
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Grammarly Premium review
Grammarly is an online spell and grammar checker for the English language. It is available as a free and limited version and a premium version.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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