Looking for the best grammar checker in 2020?
If not, you should be.
After all the work you put into your writing, one error — one simple, stupid error — can undermine it all.
That’s why smart writers, marketers, and students use grammar checkers to keep their writing as professional, SEO-friendly, and error-free as possible.
But which grammar checker is right for you? That’s what we’re going to help you figure out.
Let’s jump in.
Grammarly (affiliate link) is a powerful grammar checker that provides tools to help you improve your writing. It’s a writing assistant that follows you almost everywhere you want to write.
It proofreads your work and suggests corrections for errors. By providing an explanation for those corrections, it helps you learn from your mistakes.
The free version will help you with spelling errors and basic grammar mistakes and could be adequate for casual writers.
Grammarly Premium catches advanced grammar and punctuation mistakes and contextual spelling errors. It provides suggestions for improvements in sentence structure, word choice, and readability.
It even allows you to set goals for tone and intent, an experimental function, but it can be useful.
Pros of Grammarly
- Easy to use with a clean and simple user interface.
- Unlimited plagiarism checks with Grammarly Premium.
- The flexibility of multiple formats. It’s available as a web-based tool, web browser extension, desktop app, an add-on for Microsoft Word, or as a keyboard for your mobile devices.
Cons of Grammarly
- The free version has limited features and will catch fewer errors than the premium version. You’ll need to upgrade to Grammarly Premium to gain access to Grammarly’s best features.
- Google Docs integration is still in beta. You’ll need to copy and paste your text into the app to get the full benefit of your premium subscription.
- Grammarly can be a bit aggressive in suggesting errors. For example, Grammarly loves commas even when they may interrupt the flow of a sentence.
How Much Does Grammarly Cost?
You can try Grammarly (affiliate link) for free.
The Grammarly Premium upgrade has three options: $29.95 per month billed monthly, $19.98 per month billed quarterly ($59.95), or $11.66 per month billed annually ($139.95).
The free version of Grammarly will catch typos and basic grammatical errors. The premium version will intercept advanced errors and provide feedback to help you improve your writing.
As noted in our in-depth review of Grammarly, it is an excellent choice to improve your writing skills and keep your writing error-free.
Ginger is an online grammar checker tool that corrects “all types of grammatical mistakes, including punctuation, sentence structure, and style.” It also provides translation into over 40 different languages. For example, you can write in German and then translate it into English.
The free tool is limited to 350 characters. However, if you are willing to sign up with Ginger, you can get a far more robust Google Chrome plugin for free. This will give you access to the Ginger Writer app, where you can copy and paste your text to find any errors.
Ginger has a mobile app, Ginger Keyboard, to catch spelling mistakes in texts, emails, and social media posts. It works with MS Word, but not Google Docs.
Pros of Ginger
- It provides translations for over 40 languages, allowing you to communicate in multiple languages.
- The free version includes three writing tools— an editing window with translations, a dictionary, and a thesaurus.
- The premium version includes a “personal trainer” to improve your English. The trainer provides “personalized practice sessions based on your own writing.”
Cons of Ginger
- Multiple steps to work through your text in the Ginger Writer app. First, you have to hover over mistakes to find out what is wrong. Then you need to click a text box to either accept or reject the error. There is no sidebar (like Grammarly), listing each potential mistake.
- It provides minimal feedback about errors in the free version.
- Ginger is not compatible with the Mac OS or Google Docs.
How Much Does Ginger Cost?
If you need more than the free version, upgrading to Ginger Premium has three options. $20.97 per month billed monthly, $7.49 per month billed annually ($89.88), or a two-year subscription for $159.84. Note these prices reflect a special promo discount of 30% off all plans.
The free version of Ginger offers basic spelling and grammar checking. You’ll need to upgrade to the premium version for more advanced grammar checking or to see an analysis of your errors.
If English is your second language, or if you wish to switch between languages while also double-checking your grammar, Ginger is a great choice.
3. Hemingway Editor
It labels complex sentences as either “hard to read” or “very hard to read.” This way, you can rewrite overly complex sentences that might trip up your reader.
It also flags the use of the passive voice, excessive adverbs, and complex phrases.
Pros of Hemingway Editor
- The online version is free.
- If you get distracted when you write online, an inexpensive desktop version is available to help you avoid temptations.
- Alerts you to writing that is either hard to read or understand that you might not catch on your own.
Cons of Hemingway Editor
- You need to copy and paste your text into the app for it to review your work, and it won’t preserve your formatting.
- It doesn’t provide suggestions on how to edit complex sentences. Fixing your text is up to you.
- Following every suggestion could cause your writing to become TOO simplistic. Although you always want to be clear in your writing, sometimes, a bit of complexity is appropriate.
How Much Does Hemingway Editor Cost?
The online version is free. If you want to work offline, there is a desktop app available for $19.99.
Hemingway Editor Review
The Hemingway Editor is not a replacement for grammar checkers. But it is an excellent complement to them.
This app helps you enhance your readability and avoid the stumbling blocks that could cause your readers to bail. It can help ensure your writing gets read.
4. After the Deadline
To quickly check a piece of writing for free, you can copy and paste it into the interface at polishmywriting.com. This tool provides feedback on spelling errors and provides grammar and style suggestions, as shown below.
After the Deadline is also available as a plugin for supported web applications, most notably WordPress.
Pros of After the Deadline
- Free for personal use.
- The English language isn’t the only option: a spell checker is also available in French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
- You can install it as a WordPress plugin for grammar checking directly on your website.
Cons of After the Deadline
- It has limited features compared to other grammar checkers.
- You’ll have to click on each error to see what is wrong, and then select suggested fixes from a drop-down box.
- It’s a super basic grammar checker, it missed contextual spelling errors and punctuation errors in a 200-word sample.
How Much Does After the Deadline Cost?
It’s free for personal use.
After the Deadline Review
If you’re a blogger who composes posts directly in WordPress, this free grammar checker can cut down on potential errors.
The open-source code is available for developers to use in applications.
WhiteSmoke will check your writing for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style mistakes.
It’s available in a paid web browser only version, which includes a grammar checker, plagiarism checker, and translator. The Premium version allows you to use WhiteSmoke with Windows, Mac, MS Office, and Gmail.
Pros of WhiteSmoke
- An automated translator service, including over 50 languages (premium version only).
- A plagiarism checker is available (500 credits with a subscription).
- Over 100 document templates are available with the paid versions. Note, they also have an interesting “How to Write” section on their blog (for free!), with short blurbs on how to write many different types of documents.
Cons of WhiteSmoke
- The free version is limited to 250 characters and is currently available as a web application only. The “free WhiteSmoke toolbar for Chrome” noted on their website was unavailable.
- The web version works with web browsers only. You’ll need to upgrade to Premium to get support for all other formats.
- No option for a monthly subscription. You’ll have to make the commitment to an annual subscription.
How Much Does WhiteSmoke Cost?
The Web version (browsers only) is $5 per month billed as $59.95 annually.
The Premium version is $6.66 per month, billed as $79.95 annually.
Note: these prices reflect a 50% discount.
If you need a lower-priced grammar checker (while the 50% discount is valid), WhiteSmoke can save you money. But you have to be willing to take a chance as there is no free trial, although they do have a 31-day money-back guarantee.
LanguageTool is an open-source, proofreading and grammar corrector tool that can fix spelling and grammar mistakes in more than 20 languages.
It’s available in many formats:
- As an online checker (shown in action above).
- As add-ons for both Google Chrome and Firefox so you can check your writing across the web.
- As add-ons for Google Docs, Microsoft Word (premium version only), and LibreOffice.
Pros of LanguageTool
- It supports more than 25 languages besides English, including Spanish, French, and Russian.
- It has a personal dictionary you can customize.
- Developer API access is available (for software companies and publishing houses).
Cons of LanguageTool
- The focus of this tool is simplicity, so it lacks the features of other grammar checkers.
- The free version limits you to 20,000 characters per check (a word count of around 3,400 words, although characters per word vary significantly).
- The premium version limits you to 40,000 characters per check, so you’d need to check very long documents in pieces.
How Much Does LanguageTool Cost?
If you need more than the free version offers, LanguageTool Premium has three options. $19 per month billed monthly, $13 per month billed quarterly ($39), or $4.92 per month billed annually ($59).
LanguageTool is the right choice if you are looking for a basic spell checker with grammar checking capabilities. And it’s not just for English speakers — not only is there a free version, but LanguageTool can support other languages too.
However, languages are supported to different degrees. Check this table to determine how well supported your language is.
ProWritingAid (affiliate link with 20% off code) is one of the more robust grammar checkers besides Grammarly. It flags grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style issues, and provides in-depth feedback on your writing.
It has over 20 different writing reports, which you can click on one at a time, so you don’t need to do all your editing at once.
For example, you could first fix grammar, spelling, and style errors. Then you could select the report to change up any repeated words and phrases.
Next, you could run a report to identify cliches, and then follow up with a report on sentence structure issues.
Going through these reports will help you improve the quality of your writing. You can read through their suggestions and implement what works for you.
Pros of ProWritingAid
- The variety of reports provided are excellent for self-editing.
- A lifetime subscription offered at a reasonable price.
- Integration with Scrivener is available.
Cons of ProWritingAid
- The free trial is limited to up to 500 words in the online tool.
- No monthly version is available. You need to commit for one year.
- No mobile app versions are currently available for either iOS or Android.
How Much Does ProWritingAid Cost?
Upgrading to ProWritingAid Premium has four options: $70 per year, $100 for 2 years, $140 for 3 years, or a lifetime subscription at $240.
If you want extensive feedback on your writing, ProWritingAid is a solid choice. You have the option to view reports one at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the quantity of feedback.
For fiction writers, the unique reports to check your pacing and dialog could be valuable.
8. Google Docs (or Microsoft Word)
Both Google Docs and Microsoft Word include built-in grammar checkers. They allow you to fix your basic spelling and grammar errors for free.
As you type, a red squiggle under the word alerts you to spelling errors when you make them. A blue squiggle indicates potential grammar errors.
Right-click for suggested corrections (unless you are way off, in which case, you’re on your own!), and select the ones you agree with.
Google Docs at work:
Microsoft Word also provides a quick snapshot of your text’s readability.
Pros of Google Docs (or Microsoft Word)
- Grammar and spell checking is included in the word processing software, so there is no need to copy and paste it into a separate tool.
- Google Docs provides translation through Google Translate. You can translate your text into 100 different languages, for free!
- Customizable dictionaries are available in both programs.
Cons of Google Docs (or Microsoft Word)
- Neither program provides advanced grammar checks or style checkers.
- The grammar checker functionality is limited to the programs themselves.
- It can slow your writing down to edit while creating. You may want to turn off suggestions to avoid the start/stop process of writing and editing at the same time.
How Much Does Google Docs (or Microsoft Word) Cost?
There is no extra expense, the grammar and spell checkers are part of the software.
Google Docs (or Microsoft Word) Review
If you write using these word processors, their free spelling and grammar checkers provide the first line of defense against basic errors.
To correct more advanced errors, and get feedback on your writing, you’ll want to use a dedicated grammar checker.
Head to Head: How Our Pick for Best Grammar Checker (Grammarly) Stacks Up Against Competitors
Grammarly is the most well-known grammar checker, and we feel it is the best choice for most users. Yes, it isn’t perfect and can suggest odd things sometimes, but it will do its best to keep you out of trouble.
Here’s the free version of Grammarly in action:
And here’s the premium version:
It is one of the easiest grammar checkers to use. It’s available in multiple formats, allowing you to use it almost everywhere you write.
However, other grammar checkers may have features not currently available in Grammarly, making them a better choice for some users.
Want to get an idea of those differences? Read on!
Grammarly vs. Ginger
Advantages for Ginger
- Supplies translation tools, and includes support for over 40 languages.
- The premium version offers English grammar lessons and tests to improve your English.
- It has a text reader to convert text to a human voice, allowing better proofreading since you may hear errors you didn’t see.
Advantages for Grammarly
- It provides an “at-a-glance” overview of errors it’s identified, listed out in a sidebar. Ginger requires you to hover over each error to learn more about it.
- It makes the editing process faster. As you fix errors, Grammarly automatically toggles to the next one.
- Unlimited plagiarism checks are part of the premium version.
Who Should Pick Ginger Over Grammarly
Ginger may be the better choice if you are multilingual. If English is your second language, Ginger has tools to help you learn more about English grammar. It also costs less than Grammarly, so budget-minded writers may want to take a closer look.
Grammarly vs. Hemingway Editor
Advantages for Hemingway Editor
- The online version is free, and the desktop app is inexpensive ($19.99).
- It has a lower threshold for “complex sentences” than Grammarly, so if simplicity is essential, this tool will get you there.
- It watches for overuse of adverbs, something Grammarly doesn’t offer.
Advantages for Grammarly
- It is a full-featured grammar checker.
- Grammarly provides suggestions on how to fix issues.
- It’s customizable for writing styles. For example, you can select a formal writing style where “complex phrases” are acceptable.
Who Should Pick Hemingway Editor Over Grammarly
If you tend to write overly complex, or potentially confusing sentences, Hemingway Editor is an excellent tool. It identifies hard to read sentences so you can rewrite them. Fixing those messy sentences is up to you, but being aware of them is essential.
Instead of picking Hemingway Editor over Grammarly, you would want to use it with it (or another grammar checker).
Grammarly vs. After the Deadline
Advantages for After the Deadline
- It’s free for personal use.
- Blogging friendly — it’s designed to work well with WordPress, a useful feature for bloggers.
- It provides spell checking for French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Advantages for Grammarly
- It is a far more powerful and feature-rich grammar checker.
- A mobile version is available.
- Grammarly provides reports containing feedback on your writing.
Who Should Pick After the Deadline Over Grammarly
After the Deadline could work for cash-strapped writers looking for free alternatives. Although it lacks the features of Grammarly, it can catch basic spelling errors and gives some feedback on grammar mistakes.
Here’s a snapshot of where and how you can use After the Deadline.
Grammarly vs. WhiteSmoke
Advantages for WhiteSmoke
- It provides translations for 55 languages.
- The yearly subscription with a 50% discount currently costs less than Grammarly’s annual subscription.
Advantages for Grammarly
- A free version is available, so you can try before you buy.
- The free version works almost everywhere. You’ll need the premium version of WhiteSmoke to use it beyond web browsers.
- Monthly and quarterly plans are available.
Who Should Pick WhiteSmoke Over Grammarly
Budget-minded writers who can take advantage of the 50% discount and are willing to pay for an annual subscription without a free trial.
Grammarly vs. LanguageTool
Advantages for LanguageTool
- It provides multilingual support — it finds errors in other languages besides English.
- Developer API access is available for this grammar checker.
Advantages for Grammarly
- Unlimited error checking (no limits on characters per check).
- You can set writing goals based on the type of writing you do. For example, formal writing requires stricter grammar rules than casual writing.
- It has tools to improve the readability of your writing.
Who Should Pick LanguageTool Over Grammarly
If you write in another language besides English, and your language is fully supported, you may want to consider LanguageTool. For example, the premium version of LanguageTool will detect the wrong gender in salutation in German.
Grammarly vs. ProWritingAid
Advantages for ProWritingAid
- ProWritingAid provides extensive writing feedback — over 20 writing reports are available.
- It has Scrivener integration. Especially valuable for book authors, there is no need to copy and paste into a separate tool to check your writing.
- A lifetime subscription option, freeing you from recurring payments.
Advantages for Grammarly
- Unlimited plagiarism checks are available in Grammarly Premium.
- Grammarly Keyboard is available for mobile, for both iOS & Android. (ProWritingAid does not currently offer grammar checking for mobile).
- The error checker is faster.
Who Should Pick ProWritingAid Over Grammarly
Writers who are looking for detailed feedback on their sentence structure and style. Also, fiction writers may find ProWritingAid a better choice due to reports on story pacing and the tools to improve their dialog.
Scrivener users may prefer ProWritingAid due to the integration feature (versus having to copy and paste the text into an app).
Grammarly vs. Word Processors (Google Docs & Microsoft Word)
Advantages for Google Docs (or Microsoft Word)
- It’s a free, built-in feature of popular word processing software.
- Google Translation capabilities offered in Google Docs.
- The desktop version of Microsoft Office allows you to work offline.
Advantages for Grammarly
- It’s a full-featured spelling, grammar, style, and punctuation checker.
- It provides feedback on why your errors are being flagged, which you can use to improve your writing.
- It isn’t limited to word processing software, it’s available across the web or on mobile.
Who Should Pick Google Docs (or Microsoft Word) Over Grammarly
The spelling checker and grammar checker included with Google Docs (or Microsoft Word) are free and easy to use, so you should use them to avoid basic errors. However, those checkers cannot replace a dedicated English grammar checker such as Grammarly.
Google Docs does provide translation capabilities, something Grammarly doesn’t have.
So Which One is the Best Grammar Checker?
The best grammar checker for you depends on the features you need and on your budget.
There are free grammar checkers and free versions of premium grammar checkers, and those may be enough for casual writers. But they are limited compared to the premium versions.
Anyone dedicated to the craft of writing should strongly consider a full-featured premium grammar checker.
Grammar checkers are not a replacement for a human proofreader or an editor. They help cut down significantly on errors but are not enough by themselves. Always use human eyes for final proofreading.
Also, don’t rely solely on the suggestions provided by these grammar checkers. Instead, use your own judgment.
The best grammar checkers will significantly cut down on the number of errors you make. And error-free writing is essential.
So select a grammar checker to try and get started today.