Top 9 Best Grammarly Alternatives: A Guide for Authors

Grammarly is one of the most well-known writing tools out there. The free version helps you with spelling and grammar to ensure whatever you’re writing is error free. It points out other common issues and proffers style suggestions like passive voice (if you pay for the premium version).

But what if you think the price of the premium version is a little too steep? Or maybe you just want an alternative tool that will have more features in the free version. Well, I'm here to tell you that Grammarly isn't your only option. There are other grammar and spelling checkers out there. And we'll go over the best ones as we look at Grammarly alternatives.

In this article, you will learn:
  1. A quick Grammarly rundown
  2. The 9 top alternatives to Grammarly
  3. The best free and paid Grammarly alternatives

What Does Grammarly Offer?

Before we get started with alternatives, let's ‌look at what Grammarly offers. After all, a comparison wouldn't be possible without first knowing the features and pricing of this popular grammar checking tool.

Grammarly Features

Since a lot of the alternatives we'll cover have free versions, we'll ‌differentiate Grammarly's free and premium features here. Anything that's in the free version is also in the premium version.

  • Browser extension (free)
  • Spelling checker (free)
  • Grammar checker (free)
  • Punctuation checker (free)
  • Double-click to see definitions and synonyms (free)
  • Microsoft Word and Outlook plug-ins (free)
  • Emailed performance stats (free)
  • Limited style suggestions (free)
  • Passive voice checker
  • Advanced grammar and spelling checker
  • Sentence structure suggestions
  • Inclusive language suggestions
  • Formatting and fluency suggestions
  • Subject-specific suggestions for clarity and enhancement
  • Plagiarism checker

Grammarly Premium Pricing

It's no secret: Grammarly Premium has a lot of significant features. But you definitely pay for those features. And for some, the price may not be worth it.

  • Monthly – $30 per month
  • Quarterly – $20 per month (billed as a $60 payment)
  • Annually – $12 per month (billed as a $144 payment)
  • Grammarly Business – $15 per user per month (minimum of three users)

Okay, now that we've rehashed the basics of Grammarly, let's dive into the alternatives!

1. The Best Grammarly Alternative: ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid (PWA) is the best alternative to Grammarly for several reasons. Not only does this writing tool do everything Grammarly does (and more), but it's cheaper and integrates well with apps and software.

prowritingaid screenshot

Whereas Grammarly is more of a general proofreading tool, PWA's powerful features allow you to dig down into the style of whatever you're writing. Whether you're writing a fiction novel or an academic paper, PWA can ensure that you come out with something you're proud to share with the world.

ProWritingAid Features

You'll notice that many of the features are similar. The big thing I like about the free version of PWA is that it checks for passive voice, whereas Grammarly free doesn't.

  • Browser extension (free)
  • Spelling checker (free)
  • Grammar checker (free)
  • Punctuation checker (free)
  • Double-click to see definitions and synonyms (free)
  • Emailed performance stats (free)
  • Limited style suggestions (free)
  • Passive voice checker (free)
  • Sentence structure suggestions (free)
  • Over 20 writing reports (free)
  • Advanced grammar and spelling checker
  • Inclusive language suggestions
  • A wide range of software integrations
  • Formatting and fluency suggestions
  • Style enhancements based on tone and genre
  • Plagiarism checker (with Premium Plus)

PWA Integrations

As an author, I want a good grammar tool to check my manuscript before I send it off to my editor. Of course, it's good to have one that I can also use for writing blog posts (like this one!), sending emails, and posting on social media. But the big thing is checking my manuscripts.

This is one major reason why I recommend ProWritingAid to other authors. It integrates well with writing tools like Scrivener and, better yet, Atticus. Yes, the writing and formatting software that my team and I designed works with PWA! I can't say the same for Grammarly. But if you’re writing in MS Word or Google Docs, you can also use PWA.

PWA offers integrations with:

  • Atticus
  • Scrivener
  • MS Word (Windows only)
  • Outlook (Windows only)
  • Open Office
  • Browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge

ProWritingAid Pricing

You have a few different options for PWA pricing. And remember, you can try out the free version before you buy! Honestly though, the free version is the best free Grammarly alternative, as well. You really can't go wrong with this tool.

  • Monthly – $20 per month
  • Yearly – $79.00 (comes to $6.58 a month)
  • Lifetime – $399.00 – One payment (includes all future updates)

Try ProWritingAid Now or check out our in-depth review here. 

PWA also offers a Premium Plus version, which features all the same stuff as the Premium version, but adds in 60 plagiarism checks a year. If you write blogs or academic papers, these 60 checks may be well worth the extra charge.

  • Monthly – $24 per month
  • Yearly – $89.00 (comes to $7.42 a month)
  • Lifetime – $499.00

When you consider that the best deal for Grammarly comes out to $144 a year, ProWritingAid is significantly cheaper for better functionality.

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2. Ginger

Ginger has been around for a while, making them a well-known and viable Grammarly alternative. The tool finds spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. It can also read your text back to you, which is an excellent way to find awkward sentences and strange phrasings. You can even use this feature to listen to articles instead of reading them! #LifeHack

ginger software screenshot

The best thing that Ginger has going for it is the translation feature. It can translate into over 40 languages! It does this with neural machine translation, which is something neither Grammarly nor PWA can do. Plus, if you're not a native English speaker, it offers some grammar tutorials to help you improve your writing.

Ginger Features

  • Grammar and spelling checker
  • Rephrase suggestions
  • Browser extension (not for Firefox)
  • Translates to over 40 languages
  • Grammar lessons
  • Desktop and mobile apps available
  • Microsoft Office add-in
  • Free version

Ginger Pricing

Ginger's pricing isn't much better than Grammarly's. And it doesn't have as many features as Grammarly does, either. Still, you can always try the free version and see how you like it.

  • Monthly – $19.99 per month
  • Quarterly – $15.98 per month
  • Annual – $12.48 per month

Ginger has regular discounts, so it's worth checking the price if you're interested! You can also check out our Ginger review to learn more. 

3. WhiteSmoke

WhiteSmoke is another proofreading tool that has been around for some time. In addition to checking spelling and grammar errors, WhiteSmoke uses Natural Language Processing (NPL) to make suggestions based on your writing style. This is a good way to ensure that the style suggestions don't leave your writing flat and lacking personality (unless you want it to).

whitesmoke screenshot

It checks for things like passive voice, subject-verb agreements, mechanical errors, and sentence structure. WhiteSmoke also includes a translation feature and plagiarism checking. Unfortunately, there's no free trial and no free version of the software. You can't try before you buy. That said, there are some other useful features included.

WhiteSmoke Features

  • Grammar checking
  • Spell checking
  • Style checking
  • Translator
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Video tutorials
  • Over 100 templates for professional writing needs (business, medical, and legal writing, among others)

WhiteSmoke Pricing

This tool is cheaper than Grammarly, but you can't try it before you purchase. And it's more of a tool for professional writers in fields like law, medicine, and academia. Still, the pricing isn't bad! The lowest price tier only gets you the web version. Premium gets you the web version and the desktop version. Business gets you three licenses.

  • WhiteSmoke Web – $5.00 per month (one yearly payment of $59.95)
  • WhiteSmoke Premium – $6.66 per month (one yearly payment of $79.95)
  • WhiteSmoke Business – $11.50 per month (one yearly payment of $137.95)

Check out my WhiteSmoke review to take a closer look!

4. PerfectIt

I've found that sometimes what I really need is a virtual editor rather than a virtual proofreader. If this piques your interest, PerfectIt might be right for you. Instead of pointing out spelling and grammar errors, PerfectIt looks for consistency across your document. Essentially, it's designed to help editors get the job done quickly and efficiently.

perfectit screenshot

PerfectIt looks at things like hyphens, dashes, capitalization, abbreviations, headings, and bullet points. It will point out inconsistencies, allowing you to correct them with a couple of clicks. There are several style sheets you can work from, like the Chicago Manual of Style, so you can ensure clean, concise, and consistent writing.

PerfectIt Features

  • Checks spelling consistency (won't flag spelling errors)
  • Checks formatting, headings, abbreviations, lists, tables, and figures
  • Generates reports of all corrections
  • Provides different style sheets and allows you to customize your own
  • Only available for MS Word but works on both Mac and PC
  • 14-day free trial available

PerfectIt Pricing

You'll get the most use out of this tool if you're a proofreader or an editor. Or, if you write industry-specific papers a lot.

  • Yearly – $70 per year

Want to know more? Check out my in-depth PerfectIt review.

5. LanguageTool

LanguageTool is a spelling and grammar tool that operates much like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. It's an open-source tool that you can try for free without even giving over your email address. If you regularly write in a language that's not native to you, LanguageTool is an excellent proofreading option.

LanguageTool Text Editor

With the “Mother tongue” features, you can select your native language and the other language you write in. This tool then looks for common mistakes between the two, in addition to looking for basic grammar and spelling errors. You can also use “Picky mode” to ensure you maintain your voice and style throughout your writing. The free version also does many of the same things Grammarly does, like highlighting passive voice and suggesting synonyms with a click of the mouse.

LanguageTool Features

  • Basic grammar and spell check functions
  • Checks punctuation
  • Passive voice detection
  • One-click synonyms
  • Free version available
  • Works in over 25 languages
  • Ideal for those who write in a non-native language
  • Affordable premium option

LanguageTool Pricing

The two major features that this tool doesn't have are reports and plagiarism detection. But if you purchase yearly, the price of the premium version may just make it worth your while! Definitely check out the free browser version to see if you like it before purchasing.

  • Monthly – $19.90 per month
  • Quarterly – $13 per month
  • Yearly – $59.90 (comes to $4.99 per month)

Check out my full LanguageTool review.

6. PaperRater

This tool uses artificial intelligence technology to help you rate papers! Designed mainly for college students, PaperRater will check and help you correct errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. But since it's for college students, some of the more advanced features aren't great for general use — or for checking book manuscripts.

PaperRater Free Online Proofreader

If you regularly write academic papers, I can't recommend this tool enough. But if you're looking for a proofreading tool for general use, I wouldn't use this one. It doesn't have a browser extension, so the only way to use it is to go to the website and upload or copy and paste your text. And you're limited by how much text the tool can check: 1,500 words for the free version and 6,000 for the premium version. That said, it is cheap, and it definitely excels at some things, like checking for passive voice and varied sentence starts.

PaperRater Feature

  • Spelling and grammar check
  • Passive voice detection
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Style and word choice suggestions
  • Automated scoring
  • Free version that includes 10 plagiarism checks per month
  • Cheap premium version

PaperRater Pricing

In my in-depth PaperRater review, I tested out the plagiarism checker against Copyscape. PaperRater's checker isn't very accurate, which is worrisome. I wouldn't completely rely on it. But its other features are great if you're writing high school or college papers! You can try their free version to see if you like it.

  • Monthly – $11.21 per month (normally $14.95)
  • Yearly Plan – $5.96 per month (normally $7.95) billed at $71.55

7. Virtual Writing Tutor

The handy Virtual Writing Tutor is a completely free tool designed to help teachers, students, and those who are learning English as a second language. It's kind of like PaperRater in that it has features designed with essay writing and grading in mind. Still, you can use it as a general proofreading tool by picking and choosing only the features that you need.

Virtual Writing Tutor

Like other proofreading tools, this website-based checker will underline each spelling error in red to tell you it's an error. But it won't suggest how to fix it. The other features, like the grammar checker, won't underline your mistakes. Instead, it generates a report under the text window to show you your mistakes. While this can help you learn what you're doing wrong, it takes time to go back, locate the mistake, and fix it. Plus, the max number of words you can check is 3000. If English is your first language, this tool may not be the best fit for you.

Virtual Writing Tutor Features

  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Check vocabulary and punctuation
  • Check topic sentence
  • Essay scoring
  • Proofreading gamification for new teachers
  • Lots of tools for ESL students
  • Text-to-speech feature
  • Completely free

Virtual Writing Tutor Pricing

Virtual Writing Tutor is completely free. However, there are different capabilities for members and non-members. Members can have 3000 words checked, whereas non-members can only check 1000 at once. Membership is free.

  • Free!

8. Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor stands apart on this list. Instead of picking out and underlying each grammatical or spelling error, the Hemingway app highlights things like complicated sentences, passive voice, adverbs, and excessive wordiness. Essentially, it's designed to make your writing more concise and clear through flow, word choice, and sentence structure. But it rarely gives you concrete suggestions on how to rephrase or restructure your writing. That's up to you.

hemingway editor screenshot

Unfortunately, it doesn't have a browser extension. The website is free to use, allowing you to copy and paste your text in. Or you can purchase the premium desktop version, which allows you to import and export files. This makes things easier if you're checking long documents. (Like, say, a book manuscript.) Hemingway can certainly strengthen your writing, but you'll likely need one of the other tools on this list to locate the odd grammar error and spelling mistake because Hemingway does not.

Hemingway Editor Features

  • Checks for adverbs
  • Checks for passive voice
  • Highlight complex and wordy sentences
  • Website version is free
  • Formatting options available in free version
  • Super affordable premium version

Hemingway Editor Pricing

Since this tool deals with more complex writing issues and doesn't give suggestions, you'll learn to become a better writer if you use it consistently. That's not to say that you should always change anything it highlights. But it definitely guides you in the right direction.

  • Website version only – Free
  • Premium Desktop Version – Single payment of $19.99

Check out our Hemingway App review for more information.

9. Slick Write

Similar to Hemingway, Slick Write isn't so much an error location tool as it is a style enhancement tool. It underlines grammar mistakes, examines sentence structure, locates adverbs, roots out passive voice, and ensures that you vary the beginnings of your sentences. And it does it all for free, which is nice.

slick write screenshot

Slick Write also provides a nice statistical analysis of your writing. Along with these statistics, it offers benchmarks for certain things, suggesting a percentage to keep your writing under. For example, they say the percentage of adverbs in your total text shouldn't exceed 5%. Pretty cool! It also offers a word association feature, which is great for busting through writer's block.

Slick Write Features

  • Checks grammar
  • Helps enhance writing style
  • Locates adverbs
  • Provides statistical insights
  • Underlines prepositional phrases
  • Passive voice detection
  • Completely free
  • Word association feature

Slick Write Pricing

Since there's no premium option, you can't download a desktop version of this tool to use offline, as you can Hemingway. Still, the online version is pretty great, especially since it's free. But you'll still need a tool to locate any spelling mistakes!

  • Free!

Read our in-depth Slick Write review here. 

What is the Best Free Grammarly Alternative?

Deciding on the best free Grammarly alternative is a tough one. I have to go with ProWritingAid's free version with a caveat: if you're not a native English speaker, I'd go with the free version of LanguageTool to see if you like it. 

But if you are a native English speaker, you can't go wrong with the free version of ProWritingAid. Whether you want to check your Google Doc or you want it for emails and social media posts, PWA is a great free Grammarly alternative!

I also need to give a shout-out to Hemingway. The combination of the free version of PWA and the free version of Hemingway is excellent!

What is the Best Paid Grammarly Alternative?

If you want a powerful alternative to Grammarly Premium that doesn't cost you nearly $150 a year, I recommend ProWritingAid Premium. It does a great job of locating each grammatical error, each instance of passive voice, and a slew of other common writing mistakes. 

You can use PWA in Google Docs, Atticus, Scrivener, and even in MS Office. And it's only $79.00 a year when you pay yearly. Or you can spend $399.00 and get lifetime access.

It can handle American, Australian, Canadian, and British English, so you can avoid common pitfalls when writing for an audience across the pond or on the other side of the world. It also gives you detailed reports for big picture feedback so you can improve your writing. If you need a plagiarism checker, you can purchase the PWA Premium Plus, or you can buy checks separately.

You can always try the free version first to see if you like it!

Conclusion

Grammarly doesn't have a corner on the market. There are plenty of alternatives out there. But if you're an indie author looking for help with checking your book manuscript, your best option is ProWritingAid.

That said, most of the tools on this list have free versions or free trials. If one of them sounds like it will work well for you, I urge you to check it out! I hope this has been helpful. You can also check out our article on the best proofreading software for a couple of other options.



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