Why Grammarly Is Bad (Answered)

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You’ve probably heard of Grammarly, the editing software, and you might have wondered if Grammarly is good or bad?

Here is why Grammarly is bad:

Grammarly is bad because it often offers wrong suggestions, is over-engineered, and slows down your natural development as a writer. Grammarly premium is too expensive for many people. For writers with a solid knowledge of grammar or who write in English as a second language, Grammarly can help.

In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about why Grammarly is bad.

7 Reasons Grammarly Is Bad

Woman with laptop writing in notepad—Why Is Grammarly Bad
Image by the author via Canva—Why Grammarly Is Bad

Let’s look at seven reasons that Grammarly might be bad. Although I don’t like to think in terms of “good or bad” because most things (Grammarly included) are a mixture of both.

We’ll look at how it can help some writers at the end of this article.

But first, the bad.

1) Grammarly Can Lead You Astray

Many people use Grammarly to learn how to be better writers.

But Grammarly doesn’t always do that—it sometimes makes mistakes with English grammar.

Grammarly doesn’t always suggest the right fix. And that can pose a big problem for students, professionals, and other writers who rely on the software.

If you’re not careful, Grammarly will lead you astray.

You might feel false confidence in your writing, but you could still get a bad grade, embarrass yourself with your colleagues, or get a bad review for your story.

2) Free Grammarly Has Strict Character Limits

There is a free and premium version of Grammarly.

Prices of software change over time, but at this writing, the cost is already $30 per month for individuals. Personally, I have tested the free version. While it’s not 100% bad, it does come with character limits.

You can only paste up to 4 MB and 100,000 characters.

While that seems like a lot, it can get seriously restrictive if you want to edit long school papers, business proposals, books, novels, or screenplays.

3) Grammarly Is Obsessed With Commas

My biggest beef with Grammarly is the software’s obsession with commas.

Like other writers have complained before me, I find that Grammarly is wrong about commas nearly 9 out of 10 times.

I would understand a few comma mistakes, but that many is a recipe for bad writing.

A misplaced comma can totally shift the meaning of a sentence—and that’s not always a good thing.

4) Grammarly Is Better If You Understand Grammar Already

Even if a writer is a Grammarly Premium member, there’s no guarantee that the software will make sense.

What does this mean for novice writers?

Grammarly requires some basic grasp of grammar and punctuation to use it correctly. But it can be tough to learn those skills as a beginner—especially if English is not your first language.

5) Grammarly Is Over-Engineered

I’ve seen Grammarly criticized in the past for being too over-engineered.

In other words, Grammarly is too complex for its intended purpose, bloated with unnecessary code. This can make using Grammarly a hassle, even for regular writing.

The last thing you need when writing is another distraction.

6) Grammarly Is No Replacement for a Human Editor

I know some writers who use Grammarly instead of hiring an editor.

They see the software as a way to cut down on cost, since it’s cheaper than a human editor.

But here’s the thing: A human can still correct and improve your writing more than Grammarly ever will—no matter how much you pay.

7) Grammarly Can Become a Dangerous Crutch

Other than unintentionally detouring you into dangerous grammar territory, Grammarly can also become a crutch.

If you use this software for all of your editing, then you might never develop the skills needed to proofread your own writing.

You’ll become overly reliant on software.

At best, depending too much on Grammarly will slow down your growth as a writer.

Here is a good video about why Grammarly is Bad:

YouTube video by Zoe Bee—Why Grammarly Is Bad?

While I don’t think Grammarly is “garbage” (you’ll see later that I personally use Grammarly), the software does have its faults.

Why Is Grammarly Bad for Students?

If you are a student, be careful with Grammarly.

Yes, the software can help you, but it can also hurt you and your grades. If you constantly turn in poorly punctuated papers packed with out-of-place periods, then your grades will plummet.

Besides, Grammarly premium is expensive.

As a former broke college student, I don’t know if I could justify shelling out $30 a month for software that doesn’t “automagically” solve all of my grammar errors.

Is Grammarly Cheating?

Grammarly is not cheating any more than driving your car is cheating or using a fork is cheating. Human history is a catalog of technological advancements that heralded a new age of convenience and efficiency.

Using advanced software to assist your writing is not cheating or illegal.

There are no rules or laws against it.

On the contrary, exploiting the latest tech to enhance your productivity and performance is a sign of intelligence.

Cheating is when you intentionally go against expressed guidelines, expectations, or rules in order to gain an advantage in an unfair way.

Grammarly would only be cheating if you use it with the intentional purpose of misleading your audience or employer.

If you need help learning English grammar, then feel free to use Grammarly.

Why Grammarly Is Bad For Bloggers

I’ve seen people criticize Grammarly for not being helpful enough with content marketing and SEO writing. 

Many bloggers and online marketers use keywords and other techniques to get their pages ranked higher in search engines like Google and Bing.

Grammarly does not adjust for SEO, advertising, or marketing-oriented writing.

It doesn’t include keywords or alternate text for your images on a blog post or article.

To be sure, you can copy-paste your content into Grammarly to edit it, then add all of the SEO stuff manually. In fact, I think it’s better if you use Grammarly to check over your finished article. 

Can Grammarly Be Trusted?

Some people worry about Grammarly stealing their ideas or work. In my personal opinion, you don’t need to worry about this concern at all.

Grammarly is a piece of software, not an actual person. It cannot think or act of its own volition.

Even if Grammarly wanted to steal your work and pass it off as its own, it doesn’t have the capacity to do so. Under no circumstances should you worry about Grammarly stealing your content.

Read my complete article on the subject: Does Grammarly Steal Your Work? (Answered & Solved)

Is Grammarly Wrong?

Grammarly is not always right but it is also not always wrong. It is an automated tool that can help you edit your work.

It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t have to be.

The purpose of Grammarly isn’t to replace human editors or proofreaders. It exists so people can correct their own written mistakes without having to wait for a professional editor.

Sometimes the corrections are wrong because Grammarly can’t understand the context of your sentence, but it’s still helpful more often than not.

Why Grammarly Is Good

Even with all of its faults, I still use the Grammarly Chrome extension.

I just know its limitations and understand when to ignore its suggestions (I ignore it a lot).

Grammarly can also massively help writers for which English is a second language—especially when writing informative pieces. So many international writers praise Grammarly for career-saving support.

Plus, the free version of Grammarly is often enough for most writers.

You can even download the free Chrome extension so that you can activate Grammarly wherever you write on the web:

  • Social media
  • Emails
  • Google Docs
  • Web-based message boards and forums
  • Websites
  • And more!

Another way to use Grammarly is with their Microsoft Office add-on.

This allows you to edit your document in Word or PowerPoint directly from within the program. You can even do this on a Mac—Grammarly works with Apple products, too.

Do You Recommend Grammarly?

I recommend that you use Grammarly but don’t depend completely on it.

It still doesn’t replace the need for manually editing your work.

Grammarly is an excellent tool to use to get your written content past the first draft stage. Yet, if you rely too heavily on Grammarly, then you won’t be able to improve your writing skills because you won’t develop an understanding of why certain sentences or punctuations are wrong or right.

Final Thoughts

I know I was a bit harsh on Grammarly at the beginning of this article (due to the topic). The truth is that Iike Grammarly, but I only use it as a starting point for my writing and editing.

As a professional writer and editor, I can’t stress this enough: no software is better than a human editor.

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