How Does Grammarly Work? A Comprehensive Guide

How does Grammarly work?
Grammarly works by using context, not just word referencing, to fix your sentences. Using an AI-enabled algorithm, it goes beyond spell-check, and can improve your writing’s cohesion, fluency and vocabulary. The app is available for free in different versions, whether as a Chrome extension or desktop app, among others.

Being a seasoned professional does not save us from embarrassing situations, especially those that involve communicating with bosses, colleagues, and clients in written form. As unfortunate as it seems, typographical errors, missing and misplaced punctuations, and grammar mistakes do not recognize business titles and do not differentiate between corporate positions.

You can be a high-flying manager and fall victim to the “then” and “than” syndrome; or you can be that promising employee, just one successful business proposal away from getting that promotion if only you remembered to place that seemingly insignificant apostrophe that eventually defined your immediate future. Poor grammar can also cost the company crucial business opportunities, or in some extreme cases, even damage the company’s reputation. Of course, you don’t want to be that person to cause the company to go belly up.

This is where a grammar checker can help. In this guide, we take a look at one of the most popular and, arguably, advanced solutions in this field. How does Grammarly work? We’ll have the answer shortly, one that will help you, not just appreciate this tool, but make it the benchmark should you opt to check these top 15 grammar checker software apps. Reading this guide should also help you decide if this app is just that checker you need to up the ante of your writing.

what is grammarly

What Is Grammarly?

The Grammarly algorithm uses context, not just basic word referencing, to fix your writing.

Grammarly is a grammar checker and proofreading tool that goes beyond its technical purpose – it does not only help check spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure, it also offers real-time assistance to improve a content’s clarity, cohesiveness, fluency, as well as your vocabulary. Because of its high level of accuracy and easy-to-use features, and accessibility, Grammarly was named by Forbes as “the leader of the pack.

With its features, easy access, user-friendliness, and accuracy that is highly rated by professionals, there is a reason why Grammarly has become the go-to proofreading and writing tool recommended even among journalists.

You can sign up for a Grammarly free app and see firsthand the features we’ll be discussing below. 


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How Does Grammarly Work?

Grammarly is easy to use – once added to your browser or downloaded and enabled on your device, its AI system automatically analyzes your writing and flags the words, phrases, or sentences that need correction or improvement. Areas that need improvement are easy to spot with the red and yellow underlines marking the words or phrases that are either incorrect or can be improved (yellow underlines mark the issues that need advanced features available only in Premium and Business accounts). Not only that, but it also offers suggestions on better word choice, sentence construction, etc., depending on the type of account you have, thus refining your content’s quality while teaching you how to improve your writing skills.

Grammarly is Customized to Your Needs

Beyond spell-checking, Grammarly suggests better sentence constructions.

Whether you are a skilled communicator, professional writer, beginner, or non-native English speaker, Grammarly caters to you. It allows you to personalize your account according to your level of writing skills, the type of work you do, and your background. By taking advantage of your Grammarly account customizations, you can tailor your Grammarly account to how it can work the best for you based on the following:

Type of projects you usually work on or write about

  • School paper
  • Work-related projects
  • Others

Primary language

  • English
  • Not English

Type of English language you prefer to use or required to write in

  • American English
  • British English
  • Australian English
  • Canadian English

Your level of fluency in English

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Additional Key Features

While these are not Grammarly’s core grammar-checking features, it is important to note that Grammarly has these tools that can play significant roles:

  1. Plagiarism Checker. This tool runs and compares your content through academic databases and more than 16 million web pages to make sure that what you are writing is 100% original. This available only for Premium and Business accounts.
  2. Human Proofreader. If you are still not confident with what you have written even after editing and proofreading it using Grammarly’s tools, human intervention is your last resort. In situations such as these, Grammarly’s professional proofreaders are always willing to help check your work.
  3. The Handbook. Grammarly’s handbook brings us back to the basics of sentence constructions and ushers us forward to more complex elements and mechanics of composition. This feature is accessible to all users and can be used as a reference.

5 Grammarly Versions

The Grammarly Keyboard, a handy tool when you’re on the go.

One of the best things about this writing and proofreading platform is how it works on various devices and applications.

1. Browser Extension

Add the Grammarly extension to your browser to enable the proofreading tools that instantly checks the grammar, spelling, punctuation, structure, etc. in virtually anywhere you write online — Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and others.

  • Grammarly Editor. You also have the option to draft and check your content using Grammarly Editor — just click on the Grammarly icon on your browser extension and click “New Document” to launch this feature. You can also import your content to Grammarly Editor from other file formats, such as MS Word.
  • Personal Assistant. Grammarly Editor’s current UI also lets you decide when you want your “assistant” to help you with your writing or proofreading. Just click “Start Assistant” button on the top right portion of your Grammarly Editor document to summon your personal assistant that will point out your mistakes and suggest possible corrections. To “hide” your assistant, just click the “Hide Assistant” option also on the top right corner.
  • Personal Dictionary. Grammarly browser extension also gives you quick access to its own dictionary and thesaurus; just double-click on any word on any website and Grammarly will show you a list of definitions and synonyms without opening a new tab or window. Not only that, but you can also customize your own dictionary by adding words that you do not want to be flagged as an error to your personal dictionary in Grammarly Editor.

2. Windows app

Get the Grammarly application for your desktop or laptop by installing this add-in. Once enabled on your computer, this native application will give you direct access to Grammarly Editor right on your computer where you can write and proofread your content, including those you have created using other programs and already saved in your computer.

This add-in also integrates with Microsoft Outlook, which means you can create error-free and more professional-sounding emails without the need to draft your message using other programs or applications.

3. Microsoft Office add-in

Proofread your content using Grammarly’s editing tools right on your MS Word document. By installing this add-in, you can check your content’s grammar, spelling, punctuation, structure, and writing style without the need to upload your file or copy and paste your content to Grammarly Editor.

4. Google Docs extension

Grammarly has recently teamed up with Google Docs to make sure that your writing will remain professional and error-free even when you are using this online document application. This feature, however, is still in beta stage and, according to Digital Trends, will only be available to Google Chrome users via Grammarly browser extension for the time being.

5. Mobile apps

Android and iOS smartphones are now also Grammarly-ready. Just download the Grammarly Keyboard and use it as your mobile phone’s default input device and it will automatically integrate with not only the applications you have in your device but also with your mobile browser. This application has proven to be very useful and handy, especially for professionals who spend a lot of time on their mobile phones communicating with clients and/or colleagues.

Pricing Plans of Grammarly

There are 3 types of account to choose from depending on your needs. There are also payment options for paid accounts that you can choose from according to your budget.

Free Account

Signing up for a free Grammarly account allows you access to standard features, such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure corrections. The Microsoft Office add-in also has a “Style” feature, which recognizes possible problems in writing style including wordiness and redundancy. This type of account is perfect for individual users who would like to try Grammarly for the first time and see how it works for them.

Premium Account

Premium account is perfect for individual users who use grammar checkers extensively for personal and work purposes. Upgrading your account to Premium opens your access to a multitude of advanced features and tools, including the following and more:

Key Features

  • Improve writing style consistency
  • Identify overused words
  • Effective word choice suggestions
  • Eliminate unnecessary words or phrases
  • Flags impolite, insensitive, and inappropriate language to make that tone of your writing is polite, respectful, and professional.
  • Makes sure that the content you are writing or editing is 100% original.


  • Monthly — $29.95
  • Quarterly — $59.95
  • Annually — $139.95

Business Account

Grammarly Business account is made for a team of 3 to 100 members. It has all the features included in the Premium plan, but the highlights are these tools that help monitor and manage the team’s usage statistics and performance:

Key Features

  • Individual accounts for each team member that gives access to personal document dashboard and dictionary
  • Dedicated account administrator to manage the accounts and assignments of each user
  • Easy monitoring of statistics and engagement within the team
  • Centralized billing
  • When contacting email support, business accounts are treated as a priority and bypasses the queue for personal accounts (free and premium).
  • A business account is billed monthly and depends on the number of team members. Teams with more than 100 members must contact Help Center first before signing up or upgrading to a business account.


  • Monthly — $15/team member

How Grammarly Can Boost Your Career

Good writing is always a career booster whatever your profession. He or she who writes articulately can express the thoughts more powerfully, giving you the edge in all types of negotiation. From typos to grammar to voice, this highly advanced software helps to make you look your best in written communication.

1. Ensures Zero Grammar Error—Every Time!

Everyone wants to stand out from the multitude of employees, especially in huge companies. Nevertheless, you definitely don’t want to be remembered as that person who can’t differentiate they’re from their and there, lose from loose, then from than, principle from principal, or affect from effect.

Grammarly uses hundreds of grammar rules to check your work. It flags errors ranging from article use to subject-verb agreement, and indicates the correct words and phrases. It even detects correctly spelled words but in the wrong context, which is something most apps fall short of. So every time you send an email or deliver a presentation, you are at peace knowing that you are not making grammar gaffes. After all, impeccable writing never fails to reflect meticulous performance in the workplace.

2. Strengthens Your Unique Writing Style

Writing feels daunting for some. Whether you are an office worker, an executive, a manager, or even a business owner, a significant amount of your time is inevitably spent on writing correspondences, reports, or presentations.

Remember this: you have a writing style unique to you. But this style should be an invaluable tool for, not a hindrance to, good communication. And, sadly, this is where most people fail.

Grammarly understands that people write differently. Unlike other apps that forces the writer to follow a generic format, Grammarly is equipped with a sophisticated system that plays on the strength of your work without compromising your own unique style. This way, your writing delivers you and your message with strength and impact.

3. Widens Your Vocabulary

Do you always find yourself running out of alternatives to the word improve? It is perfectly understandable. Not everyone can conjure ten synonyms of this word at the drop of a hat. Some would instinctively head for an online thesaurus. But what differentiates Grammarly from a common thesaurus is that it enhances your vocabulary by detecting overused words and excessive use of passive voice and by offering a stronger word or phrase that will grip your readers’ attention. And this is just a few examples in a long list! By upgrading to Premium, you get to enjoy a wide range of benefits Grammarly has to offer.

4. Polishes Your Work for You

Writing is challenging, yes, that is true. But editing your own writing is a whole new level of challenge. This is a fact.  Now, do you realize why you need a fresh pair of eyes to look through your correspondence or email or article or report before you send it out? While this is an effective way of checking your piece, there are other time-efficient ways to ensure that no error slips through the net.

Grammarly is linked to a huge database of about two hundred thousand English words. It ensures that no spelling error, as well as misused punctuation, creeps in. This, in turn, gives you the peace of mind that whatever you submit is free of these nasty bugbears. This is the reason why it is trusted by millions of users around the globe, ranging from students, fresh graduates, professionals, and managers to business owners.

5. Detects Plagiarism

As a manager, you’d want to be assured that the impactful writing of your employees truly comes from their conviction, not out of the superabundance of information from some random site on the Internet. But due to your crazy, tight schedule, you may not always have the time to check each line. That is always a problem.

This is where Grammarly really comes in handy. This intelligent software detects plagiarism, ensuring you of the originality of your employees’ writing.  Simply click on the Plagiarism option when you open the document and voila! You will see where texts are lifted from.

6. Links Your Work to Citations

The Plagiarism feature works to your advantage, as well. When Plagiarism checks your writing, it recommends links to the sources of your text. What’s more, it offers three internationally recognized reference formats: the Modern Language Association (MLA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). The impression that you’ve put effort into your writing to provide solid evidentiary support renders your writing not only ethical but also credible. Bottom line? You drive your message strongly to your target audience.

7. Personalizes Feedbacks and Insights

What better way to learn than through the eyes of another? Unlike other apps that offer a simple error-detection feature, Grammarly makes the business of perfect writing very much personal.

With Grammarly Insights, you will receive useful comments and notes that will help you improve the way you write. This regular feedback focuses on three things: your activity, or your total weekly word count; your mastery, or the number of errors you correct using Grammarly in relation to the total number of words written; and your vocabulary, or the number of unique words you use. As an added motivation, it even ranks your progress against other Grammarly users.

But that’s not all! Grammarly reports recurring errors in your work that you may not be aware of.  This helps you to avoid minor yet distracting mistakes the next time you write.

With Grammarly by your side, consistently giving you the nudge in the right direction, you’ll have significantly improved your writing in no time at all!

Take That First Step

The best way to gauge if this app works for you is to use it. The basic app is free, which you easily get when you sign up for a Grammarly free app. 

Astrid Eira

By Astrid Eira

Astrid Eira is a resident B2B expert of FinancesOnline, focusing on the SaaS niche. She specializes in accounting and human resource management software, writing honest and straightforward reviews of some of the most popular systems around. Being a small business owner herself, Astrid uses her expertise to help educate business owners and entrepreneurs on how new technology can help them run their operations. She's an avid fan of the outdoors, where you'll find her when she's not crunching numbers or testing out new software.

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