BlogHow to Use ProWritingAidHow to use... The Grammar Check

How to use... The Grammar Check

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.

Grammar corrections

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.

Contents:
  1. Getting Started
  2. Spelling
  3. Grammar
  4. Learn More
  5. Specific Examples

Getting Started

The Grammar Report checks both spelling and grammar. I’ll cover how to run the report and how to use each part.

Running the Grammar Report is simple. In your ProWritingAid tool, make sure that you can see the toolbar of different reports at the top of your document. If not, click “Reports.” Then you simply click “Grammar Report.”

After you run the report in the online tool, a box will pop up on the left side. In Microsoft Word, the box will pop up on the right side. You will also see mistakes underlined in red and blue lines in your document.

grammarreportlist

Spelling

Spelling issues are marked in red within your text. The Grammar Report will generate a list of all the spelling issues, or you can hover over each red line with your mouse.

Once you have hovered over the issues for more information, you can quickly resolve them from the list. There is a number next to each spelling mistake to tell you how many times that same error appears.

Pop-Up Symbols

When you click each item on the list of spelling mistakes, a box will pop up with three symbols.

The first symbol is an eye. This will show or hide these errors. If you make the mistake more than once, you can hide all of them with one click. It might not be an error for your purposes, or you might want the mistake there on purpose. If you want to take care of it later, just click the word again and hit the crossed-out eyeball. The red lines will show back up.

The second symbol on the pop-up is a check mark. This will apply the first suggested change in the text. If you can’t click the check mark, try hovering over the mistake in the actual text first.

Finally, there is a curved arrow. This will take you directly to the error in the text. It’s easy to overlook a red line if there are too many. This button makes finding the individual mistakes much easier.

Suggestions and Add to Dictionary

When you scroll over the spelling mistake in the text itself, a bigger box will pop up. There are several features in this box.

The first part of the box is the actual error, which usually says “unknown word” for spelling mistakes. Underneath that is a list of suggestions. These are the words that ProWritingAid thinks you might mean instead. Sometimes, there may be only one suggestion.

Change the word by clicking the correct suggestion. If the correct word isn’t there, you can manually change the word in the text.

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Sometimes, the word is correct, but ProWritingAid doesn’t recognize it. It could be a word you made up or simply an uncommon word. You can click “Add to Dictionary” below the suggestions to add the word to your personal ProWritingAid dictionary. This will mean it is no longer flagged as an error. Keep in mind that you may have to add different forms of the word, such as singular and plural, separately.

The downward-curved arrows next to the suggestions or “Add to Dictionary” are a handy shortcut. If you click the arrow next to the suggestion, the word will change in the text, and then immediately move to the next arrow with a new pop-up box. Likewise, clicking the arrow next to “Add to Dictionary” will add the word to your dictionary and move to the next error without you having to scroll to it.

grammarreportspellingerror

Ignore and Thesaurus

Below “Add to Dictionary” is the ignore button. Click this to ignore the error. Clicking the down arrow next to “Ignore” will ignore the word and move to the next error. Unlike "Add to Dictionary," the "Ignore" option is a one-time thing: if you re-run the grammar report, the mistake will be flagged again.

If the word is a recognized word, it might be in the ProWritingAid thesaurus. You can click “Thesaurus” to see synonyms. But if the word is not recognized, you will not have any options for additional words.

Grammar

Grammar issues are marked in blue within your text. The grammar features have a lot of similarities with the vocabulary pop-up boxes. Here are the few differences.

Grammar Rules and Suggestions

The first line of the pop-up box will give you a succinct explanation of the broken grammar rule. It might say something like “possible confused word” or “missing punctuation.”

Below the short explanation is the list of suggestions. ProWritingAid can identify many grammatical errors and suggest how to fix them. The errors could be something simple like subject-verb agreement. It could also be a more complex grammar rule like, “Intransitive verb can’t be used in passive voice.”

Pick the correct suggestion to automatically change the text. If the correct suggestion isn’t present, you can manually fix the error.

Disable Rule and Ignore

Below the grammar suggestion list, there is an additional button called “Disable Rule.” This is different from ignoring that specific occurrence. Disabling the rule will stop ProWritingAid from checking for that particular grammatical rule in the entire text.

As with the spelling rules, clicking “Ignore” will simply ignore that particular instance of the grammatical mistake. The same mistake will still be marked in future occurrences.

grammarreportlearnmore

Learn More

Sometimes, you’ll notice an additional button in the pop-up boxes for both spelling and grammar errors. In the right-hand corner of the box, there might be an orange circle with an i in it. Clicking this button will give you more information about the rule that was broken.

This will explain the spelling or grammar rules in more detail. You can also click “read the full article” for an even more in-depth explanation. At the top of the “Learn More” box are social media sharing buttons. This allows you to quickly share the articles to various sources for future reference.

Specific Examples

We also offer specific examples of grammar errors. Here are some of them.

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:


Grammar checker


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!

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Krystal N. Craiker
Author and Freelance Writer

Krystal N. Craiker is an author and freelance writer. She is the author of the Scholars of Elandria fantasy series. When she isn't writing, you can find her playing board games and volunteering. Krystal lives in Texas with her husband and two adorable dogs. Visit her website or follow her on Instagram.

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By zhanlang2008123 on 17 May 2016, 02:54 PM
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.
By mulunehkassa on 14 December 2016, 08:43 AM
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By jojohasan11 on 03 March 2017, 02:35 PM
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.
By rakeshpos78 on 21 March 2017, 03:13 PM
was very useful , thank you so much.
By pharid.ruge on 04 March 2018, 03:37 PM
Thank you for the How To Use Grammer Check and the download of 20 Writing Tips. Ken Lovan
By kennylovan on 19 May 2018, 08:19 PM
My P5 kids homework, he has to add the fullstops ad caps, software did not work too good! It was a hot day Mum made some  sandwiches and dad made some tea he put  it in a flask some got some cans of coke  Tom put the cakes and a big tin lead put the  apples in a bag get all set off in the car  they drove to the woods at Beamish they ate their picnic and then they went for a walk in the woods
By david1123 on 06 November 2018, 08:14 PM
I've noticed that my summary report is showing grammar errors while the grammar tab reveals nothing. The problem seems to be incorrect application of em dashes (eg spaces either side). It would be useful if the grammar option would highlight these.
By iainandrews on 08 November 2018, 02:15 PM
I checked a 77,000 word document with the Grammar checker tab and it reported back "no issues." That is not possible.. Do you have an accurate version hidden away I can access?
By chwood01 on 11 December 2018, 01:49 PM
Useful, but I wish it would give us the option to not check names and such... my spelling report is always low because it doesn't recognize the characters' names I use in my writing... Then there's the problem of sentences in foreign language in dialogues, but I guess nothing can be done about that. Maybe a way to uncheck those words, so as to get a more accurate result?
By cathy.magden on 29 December 2018, 02:10 PM
How come I can't correct the end quotes to dialogue? I get a lot of errors and when I go to correct, it never corrects. Even if I go into work and check them there. How do you eliminate those errora?
By saturnn77 on 08 January 2019, 05:50 PM
I need a text editor that shows the error and explains why it is an error.
By whaziz on 29 January 2019, 04:20 PM
I am satisfy with other facilities but the grammar check. It is very weak even compared to free version of Grammarly. In academic writing, we often use past perfect tense when writing rebuttal letter to the reviewers. And simply the grammar check missed to correct the verb to verb 3 mode. Can you check on this: "we have wrote a letter", it should be "we have written a letter"
By yskunto1 on 31 January 2019, 05:00 AM
Why don't you accept some foreign words, like fifteen in Greek to be added to my dictionary, which is already full of words in Latin, Greek, Spanish, Italian and German? This is not the only case, there are several, and its annoying to have it pointed out that you have errors in your spelling.
By brfkol4 on 02 February 2019, 12:55 PM
Hi there, we are working on adding more support for other languages in the future. For now, you can always click "add to dictionary" to stop seeing those suggestions. Hope that helps!
By kylemassa on 04 February 2019, 06:11 PM
Can we permanently disable grammar rules? I'm thinking of spacing for the en dash or whatever it's called.
By flight44 on 23 February 2019, 06:56 PM
Hi there, apologies but there's no way to permanently disable a rule at this time. You can always click "Ignore" to remove the suggestion while you're editing. Hope that helps!
By kylemassa on 25 February 2019, 05:25 PM
Are ing endings in words best to avoid? This tool will be extremely useful. Often though eliminating them forces me to use extra words,
By Wristab10@gmail.com on 31 July 2019, 06:27 AM
He prohibits running but allows jogging. How can I disable your allow+gerund rule that seems a whimsical and incorrect addition to English grammar?
By mhowe1 on 24 September 2019, 07:18 AM
Loved this information! Thank you. C.K. Sharpe
By cksharpe1 on 23 November 2019, 03:47 PM