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Grammarly Premium vs Free: Should You Upgrade?

by Vaibhav
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Grammarly is a digital writing tool with over 6.5 million active users. If you’re in the profession of writing, whether it’s articles, professional academic work, or personal blog posts, it helps you improve and correct, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and even find replacement words that can make your writing feel bland. So, if you already use the free Grammarly extension(which works great) and are thinking of upgrading to premium, this article is for you. So, without further ado, let’s look at Grammarly Premium vs free and find out if it is worth the upgrade cost.

Also Read: Grammarly vs Ginger: What Spelling and Grammar Tool Should You Use?

Grammarly Premium vs Grammarly Free

Before talking about the practicality of an upgrade, let’s see what the premier version offers up-top. This table will put things into perspective. Grammarly Free offers three major features: it corrects grammar, spelling mistakes and also improves punctuation. On the other hand, Premium offers everything in the free version along with add-ons such as plagiarism detection, word choices, readability, etc.

Grammarly is available as a browser extension (Safari, Chrome, Firefox), Google Docs add-on, and even has native apps for Windows. If you want to subscribe to the premium version, it will set you back by $29.95/ month. You can also subscribe to annual plans which bring down the subscription to $11.66 / month.

Grammarly  Free Premium
Grammar Yes  Yes
Spelling Yes Yes
Punctuation Yes Yes 
Fluency  No Yes
Readability  No Yes 
Better Vocabulary No  Yes 
Plagiarism Detection No  Yes


Winner – Tie 

Grammar mistakes are the most common and even the most perfect copy has a handful of these mistakes. Since this feature is available on both versions of Grammarly, you’re better off with the free version. Here’s a little example of how it works. For example, in the GIF below, Grammarly suggests changes with the verb and also tells to add an article.

Grammarly Premium vs Free

Spelling & Punctuation 

Winner – Tie

Unlike grammar, spelling mistakes are something that you might not encounter very easily. It’s mostly ignorance or hitting the wrong keyboard button for most of us. However, if your work requires writing professionally, say pursuing academic pieces and other formal writing, things can take a messy turn.

For example, words like achieve/acheive, accommodate/accomodate, necessary/neccessary, separate/seperate, and many more. Again, like grammar, this is also available in both versions.

Grammarly Premium vs Free

Text Fluency and Format

Winner – Premium 

When you’re writing long-form articles or write-ups which have a lot of number and date references, chances are that there may be a lot of inconsistencies in it. For example, you’re writing 29th of September in one place, and later you use September 29. Although this might not look like an error to you, this minute inconsistency makes the article sound unprofessional.

So, if you feel your articles involve this type of writing, Grammarly account will never disappoint you.

Grammarly Premium vs Free

Clarity and Concise Text

Winner – Premium 

A reader is literally wasting time on an article if it’s not clear and readable. If he/she finds the words confusing or unclear, he might simply leave reading it in the middle. Hence, when there is too much ambiguity, you’re likely to lose your readership. Here’s an example from one of the articles. Besides this, let’s say you have a date in your write-up. The clarity feature prompts you to highlight the date so that the reader’s attention is automatically drawn to it.

Note that the clarity feature is still in beta. So whenever you use it, read the correction again so that what you’re trying to say doesn’t lose content

Most of the time, the concise suggestion doesn’t have an automatic correction, so you can edit and shorten the words accordingly to make sure the text doesn’t sound wordy.

Grammarly Premium vs Free

Better Vocabulary

Winner – Premium 

Even if you’re able to form correct sentences and perfect your punctuations if you’re not able to use the right word at the right place. It’s likely that you won’t be able to communicate with your readers. Not only that, but the word also shouldn’t be too complex to understand or comprehend. So, either you have a rich dictionary or you have the premium Grammarly account. To put things into perspective, a lot of people use very. For example, very happy (elated), very scared (terrified), and so on.

With premium account, you can easily double-tap on words and see synonyms that go well with the context.

Grammarly Premium vs Free

Plagiarism Detection

Winner – Premium 

It’s one of the major add-ons that the premium version offers over the free one.  Often when you write, there are chances that you may end up paraphrasing a lot or write in the same language. If this is often the case with you,  this plagiarism detection will help you with parts that you need to edit or change altogether. Also as an editor who reviews other’s work, it becomes a handy tool to keep a writer’s work in check and make specific suggestions. This feature is missing in the free version.

I’ve copied one of my own articles which shows 100% plagiarized and as I write more, the count starts.

Grammarly Premium vs Free

Other Premium Features

These were some of the primary features that the premium subscription has to offer over the free version. Besides, there are other language tools as well which may add quality to your writing. Here are a few of them:

  • Confident Writing – Eliminating words which make the writer sound unsure, eg, should/shall/might
  • Polite Writing – Replacing words which sound less hard, eg, using I didn’t like, instead of hated it.

Should You Get Grammarly Premium or Free?

There is no easy answer to the Grammarly Premium vs Free debate, however, if you ask me, I would suggest sticking to the free version. Since the majority of us frequently make grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes, the free version is more than enough for most users. Other features such as fluency, clarity, confident writing are very subjective & are not needed in most write-ups.

A major feature is the Plagiarism checker which may be the only dealbreaker to go for the premium account and that too if you edit tons of articles daily. With that being said, I’m sticking to the free version. Let me know in the comments below what do you think.

Also Read: Best Alternatives to Grammarly That Suit Your Needs

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