How to use... The Grammar Check

by ProWritingAid May 09, 2016, 6 Comments

How to use the Grammar Check

The Grammar Check works similarly to the spelling and grammar checkers in a word processor. It highlights any word that’s not in our dictionary in case it’s misspelled. It also looks at the construction of the sentence to make sure that the structure, punctuation and tense are correct.

But, in addition to these standard grammar checks, our team of copyeditors have been inputting thousands of specific checks that they have come across in their years of editing. Our goal over the next couple of years is to have a simple explanation associated with every grammar issue that the software picks up.

Example 1: “Adverse” vs. “averse”

One of our editors noticed that writers often mistake “adverse” with “averse”. One is an adjective, the other is a verb. They created a programming rule around this issue. So if you have a sentence construction that uses “adverse” as a verb, the grammar checker will highlight it and offer the following explanation:

You may mean averse in this instance.

Adverse and averse are both used to convey a negative idea, but adverse is an adjective meaning something that's harmful, e.g. adverse weather conditions, and averse is a verb meaning 'a strong dislike', e.g. She is averse to the idea of marriage on philosophical grounds.

Example 2: “Allows” followed by a gerund

Another of our editors noted that the word “allows” should never be followed by a gerund. A gerund is a verb that has been turned into a noun by adding -ing. “Walking on the beach is my favorite pastime” or “John was afraid of skydiving”.

So, any time the software finds this construction, it highlights it and offers this explanation:

Allows + gerund, e.g. "allows identifying", is incorrect.

You need use the infinitive (base) form of the verb instead of the gerund (-ing) form of the verb. You also need to include an object, giving the structure allow + object + infinitive, e.g. "allows it to be identified".

Alternatively, you could use the noun form of the verb with the structure allows + noun + preposition, e.g. "allows identification of", followed by the object.

Our editors have created thousands of these checks and the list continues to grow each week.

We hope that our explanations will build the knowledge of our users and help them become better writers!

This and other great tips for using ProWritingAid are included in our ebook: 20 Editing Tips From Professional Writers. Download it for free now!

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Comments (6) Add Yours

  • zhanlang2008123 says
    Please accept my sincerest apologies for the delay in replying your email. Because of serious doubts about
    Posted On May 17, 2016 | 02:54
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  • mulunehkassa says
    The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia provides each of the regional states with the legislative power to draft, adopt and amend their own constitution fitting to its own local circumstances. Thus, Benishangul Gumuz Regional State (hereafter used as BGRS) drafted and adopted its own constitution. The 2002-revised constitution of the region vividly recognized the establishment of administration of nationalities as administrative hierarchy by replacing the former Zonal Administration. Therefore,the writer of this paper collected various empirical evidences and appropriate legal documents to explain the paradox of incompatibility of legal principles and actual practices concerning nationality administration in BGRS.The regional state does not follow its own constitutional provisions concerning administration of nationalities practically. Hence,the writer contends that constitutionally, nationality administrations in BGRS have important powers but practically these powers are symbolic or nominal.
    Posted On Dec 14, 2016 | 08:43
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  • louislu777 says
    Posted On Jan 14, 2017 | 03:34
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  • 836543448 says
    Nowadays, with the dramatic development of economy globalization and entry into WTO, China has more opportunities to deal with foreign business.
    Posted On Feb 03, 2017 | 11:45
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  • jojohasan11 says
                                                            A define of honesty Honesty is important feature, which means telling the truth all the time. First of all, honesty is necessary for real happiness. It is an essential quality of a good person. For example, if a man lying all the time, he will feel uncomfortable, sad and fraudulent. but, if a man say the truth he will feel comfortable and happy. Next, the values of honesty. It referred to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness. Finally, the benefits of honesty. It creates strong relationships between humans and creates peace mind. It shows maturity and self acceptance and it can keep you  of trouble. Enhances self image in the eyes of others. All in all, honesty Is important because it is a way to escape. So we should always believe in the saying, “Honesty is the best policy”.
    Posted On Mar 03, 2017 | 02:35
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  • Rakesh Poswal says
    I'm disappointed as your tool is unable to detect grammar errors such as misplaced or no articles, commas, etc. Why? It needs to be incorporated in the tool to expedite editing.
    Posted On Mar 21, 2017 | 03:13
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