Grammar checkers - online or software?

  • #1
scottdave
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So what grammar checkers are good to use. I recently found www.Grammarly.com which was from a YouTube ad, I think. I Googled grammar checkers, and came up with a bunch, some claiming to be free, but I don't really want to install anything without recommendation. A long time ago in a galaxy far away, I had a DOS computer with WordStar or something. Then I got something, I think it was Webster's New World Writer, which was a word processor that had spell and grammar checking. It would give information such as reading ease scores, and how to improve my writing. It looks like Grammarly had a paid version, which will do that, but I'd rather not go into a subscription of paying forever.... do I really need to update my grammar checker constantly?
 

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  • #2
phinds
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Microsoft Word has one but of course that's not free.
 
  • #3
symbolipoint
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A great question should be, Who is the intended user of any online or otherwise Grammar Checker? If for English, is intended for everybody, or just non-native English speakers or English learners?
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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Any word processing software worthy of the categorization will include a grammar checker. Do you not have one?
 
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  • #5
symbolipoint
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Any word processing software worthy of the categorization will include a grammar checker. Do you not have one?
Jarte does not seem to have one. WordPad does not seem to have one. That does not mean these have none - just that I could not find any in the tools/menues features and the search in their helpfiles did not show any mention of grammar checker.

As a native English language speaker using or writing in English, I never have used any grammar checker. Normally my own use of grammar is good - occasional some mistakes but generally very small when I made those. I know I've made a few grammar mistakes on the physics forums. Much easier to handle good grammar has been when composing a business letter, but again, I have never used any grammar checker tool.
 
  • #6
Borek
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No idea how good they are now (and I admit I haven't tried them), but I somehow doubt their worth. Natural language processing is still something computers are not good at (think google translator).

Back in nineties (yes, that was long ago) I tried some grammar checker and it was a complete joke. Actually the only thing it did about right was to point out too long sentences. I hope they are much better now, but I don't hold my breath yet.
 
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  • #7
davenn
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WordPad does not seem to have one.

yeah but Wordpad is an extreme cutdown version of the full MS Word
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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Jarte does not seem to have one. WordPad does not seem to have one. That does not mean these have none - just that I could not find any in the tools/menues features and the search in their helpfiles did not show any mention of grammar checker.
My post was meant for the OP, but in either case, I guess I don't really have a frame of reference here; I'm not sure I've ever used a computer that didn't have word processing software on it.
 
  • #9
berkeman
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I never have used any grammar checker. Normally my own use of grammar is good - occasional some mistakes but generally very small when I made those.
All of my Microsoft Word installations have grammar checking, although I do have some options set to minimize the number of false hits. I've found that technical writing often triggers grammar "error" hits that are not real. There are just some words and phrases that we use in technical writing that look funny to more traditional grammar checkers.

upload_2018-7-27_7-48-56.png
 

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  • #10
BillTre
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My experience is similar to those of @Borek and @berkeman. I have used MS Word for years and experienced their grammar checker.
It does a few things OK but has false positives (from my point of view).

It would be interesting to see a review of the more advanced grammar checkers like @scottdave mentioned.
They seem to be a different class of grammer chacker and look at a lot of more things.
I could not find a review comparing a lot of different grammar checkers but here is one of those internet lists listing high end checkers.
 
  • #11
symbolipoint
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A great question should be, Who is the intended user of any online or otherwise Grammar Checker? If for English, is intended for everybody, or just non-native English speakers or English learners?
My experience is similar to those of @Borek and @berkeman. I have used MS Word for years and experienced their grammar checker.
It does a few things OK but has false positives (from my point of view).

It would be interesting to see a review of the more advanced grammar checkers like @scottdave mentioned.
They seem to be a different class of grammer chacker and look at a lot of more things.
I could not find a review comparing a lot of different grammar checkers but here is one of those internet lists listing high end checkers.
The reason that I said and asked what I did, is that :
  • I am a native English speaker who was both taught and did learn to read and write and learn English Grammar.
  • All of my reading & writing experience was done without any such automated grammar-correction tools. I never knew ANYBODY who used them.
  • Any use of a language other than English allowed for some rechecking in a reference source such as a basic, fundamental textbook of the language - again this was never any sort of automated thing such as any software; but instead a regular traditional paper published textbook or booklet.
 
  • #12
scottdave
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I use OpenOffice for word processing now. I will look if it has something. I think that my grammar is good. I'm writing a Statement of Purpose for Masters Application. I want a way to check if I missed something.
 
  • #13
symbolipoint
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I use OpenOffice for word processing now. I will look if it has something. I think that my grammar is good. I'm writing a Statement of Purpose for Masters Application. I want a way to check if I missed something.
For anyone who has very well ingrained "grammar is good", a grammar-checking tool is not necessary, since this is a big part of ones acquired intuition. One can reread as one writes and analyse and self-correct.
 
  • #14
berkeman
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I want a way to check if I missed something.
Feel free to PM me a copy. I'd be happy to proofread it for you. :smile:
 
  • #16
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I am pretty sure that Libreoffice has a built in grammar checker.

This is a free full service office suite that many people use in lieu of M$ Office. It is downloadable and free for personal use.

Check it out. www.libreoffice.org

diogenesNY
 
  • #17
russ_watters
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For anyone who has very well ingrained "grammar is good", a grammar-checking tool is not necessary, since this is a big part of ones acquired intuition. One can reread as one writes and analyse and self-correct.
Sorry, but this is just naive. Nobody is perfect, and even professional writers have professional editors. Everyone should use a spelling and grammar checker in semi-formal and formal communication.

For me, for PF and email, spell checking is automatic except when I'm on a cell phone. Grammar notsomuch because I sometimes purposely write in a more conversational and less formal style.
 
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  • #18
symbolipoint
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For anyone who has very well ingrained "grammar is good", a grammar-checking tool is not necessary, since this is a big part of ones acquired intuition. One can reread as one writes and analyse and self-correct.
Sorry, but this is just naive. Nobody is perfect, and even professional writers have professional editors. Everyone should use a spelling and grammar checker in semi-formal and formal communication.

For me, for PF and email, spell checking is automatic except when I'm on a cell phone. Grammar notsomuch because I sometimes purposely write in a more conversational and less formal style.
I have my own grammar checker, in my head. Not perfect but easier to use. I adjust my written grammar only enough to help make any written work clearer to understand. The grammar-check action is an ongoing process while I write. Not so naive; I have handled my writing without any automated grammar checker for more than a couple of decades. I tend to know to watch for grammar problems when I make long, involved complex sentences and I do this very consciously and with some well-informed previous study; there was a great grammar & usage textbook I studied from (English 3200) which made so much about grammar very clear.

Naive? Never at any time during my time in high school and college was any such automated grammar checker available. Good writing becomes acquired. Some study needed and much practice are needed. I still might be using a few minor faults but I do not worry, until difficulties in natural understanding happen.

Word-Processors: I avoid MS Word, mostly because of its initial cost, even though it does have a grammar checker. The MS Word interface is not my favorite, which is why I still prefer Jarte (the free edition) and MS WordPad, and sometimes NotePad. These do not have a grammar checker.
 
  • #19
symbolipoint
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Sorry, but this is just naive. Nobody is perfect, and even professional writers have professional editors. Everyone should use a spelling and grammar checker in semi-formal and formal communication.

For me, for PF and email, spell checking is automatic except when I'm on a cell phone. Grammar notsomuch because I sometimes purposely write in a more conversational and less formal style.
I just now tried putting the content of my post #18 into Word 2016, for your satisfaction and my curiosity.. The proofing feature showed me just two spelling mistakes (NotePad and WordPad). No other indications of grammar mistakes were signaled. I would guess that "English 3200" should need to be underlined, since this is the abbreviated form of the book title, but maybe the grammar checker does not recognize this.
 
  • #20
russ_watters
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I just now tried putting the content of my post #18 into Word 2016, for your satisfaction and my curiosity.. The proofing feature showed me just two spelling mistakes (NotePad and WordPad). No other indications of grammar mistakes were signaled.
Are you sure it didn't just check spelling, because mine found two. :wink:
[one was clearly on purpose, though]

In either case, even if you are a person with near-perfect grammar, as general guidance to others I would not recommend going without a spelling/grammar checker.
 
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  • #21
symbolipoint
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Are you sure it didn't just check spelling, because mine found two. :wink:
[one was clearly on purpose, though]

In either case, even if you are a person with near-perfect grammar, as general guidance to others I would not recommend going without a spelling/grammar checker.
Some further checking now seems interesting to do. The editions of Jarte do not contain any grammar checker. Neither paid nor free edition have one. WordPad does not have a grammar checker. There is an alternative AbiWord which does have a grammar checker. The Chrome browser can use an add-on or extension, Grammarly, to use when writing in fields through web pages. There is a free version, and a premium version at $11 per year.
 
  • #22
scottdave
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There is an alternative AbiWord which does have a grammar checker. The Chrome browser can use an add-on or extension, Grammarly, to use when writing in fields through web pages. There is a free version, and a premium version at $11 per year.
The premium version of Grammarly is $140 per year (approx $12/month). That's if you pay annually. It's $60 per quarter ($20/month) or $30 per month, if you go month to month.
 
  • #23
scottdave
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I have my own grammar checker, in my head. Not perfect but easier to use...
That is typically what I do, as well. But it's nice to have something that will point things out, that maybe I miss.

I'm in the printing business. We have a couple of people look over our work before it gets sent for the customer to proof. We catch many errors with this method, but we still miss things. Just when I started writing this essay, I thought it would nice to run through a grammar checker, to see what it recommends.

I honestly had no idea that my post would generate this much discussion. Thanks for all of the ideas.
 
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  • #24
symbolipoint
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The premium version of Grammarly is $140 per year (approx $12/month). That's if you pay annually. It's $60 per quarter ($20/month) or $30 per month, if you go month to month.
Some of my information search included seeing a YouTube presentation, which either may be a little outdated or I mis-observed/heard part of it.
 
  • #25
scottdave
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Some of my information search included seeing a YouTube presentation, which either may be a little outdated or I mis-observed/heard part of it.
That's a great discount. The best I've seen is 25% off.
 

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