BlogHow to Use ProWritingAidHow to Check Your Grammar with ProWritingAid

How to Check Your Grammar with ProWritingAid

How to use the Grammar Check

ProWritingAid's Grammar Check is like the spelling and grammar checkers in a word processor - but with superpowers. As well as highlighting misspelled words and missing punctuation, it also looks at the construction of the sentence to make sure that the structure, style and tense are correct.

Grammar corrections

In addition to the standard grammar checks, our team of copyeditors have been inputting thousands of specific checks that they have come across in their years of editing. They're familiar with the mistakes writers commonly make, and now ProWritingAid is too.

As well as making sure your grammar is up to scratch, our goal over the next couple of years is to have a simple explanation associated with every grammar issue that the software picks up so that you can learn while you edit.

Not using ProWritingAid yet?

Click on the button below to try all of these features out for yourself.

Contents:
  1. Getting Started
  2. Spelling
  3. Grammar and Composition Errors
  4. Learn More
  5. Specific Examples
  6. Start editing like a pro with your free ProWritingAid account

Getting Started

The Grammar Report checks spelling, grammar and sentence composition. In this article, 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 you can't, click “Reports.” Then you simply click “Grammar Report.”

After you run the report, a box will pop up on the left-hand side (or right-hand side if you're using our Word Add-In). In this box is a list of every error ProWritingAid has identified in your document.

Alongside this, you will also see corresponding mistakes underlined with red, yellow and blue lines within your document. These are 'highlights'. Red highlights signify spelling mistakes, blue are for grammar, and yellow are for composition errors.

grammarreportlist

The Grammar Report will generate a list of all the spelling, grammar and composition issues in the box to the left.

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

Pop-Up Symbols

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

grammar issues pop-ups

Eye

The first symbol is an eye. This will show or hide the highlight under the corresponding error within your document.

If I click the eye next to 'can possibly', as in the image above, the highlight under 'can possibly' within my document will disappear. 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 in-document highlights will show back up.

Check Mark

The second symbol on the pop-up is a check mark. ProWritingAid often suggests more than one fix for an error. If you want to work quickly, clicking the check mark will apply the first suggested change to your text. If the check mark is greyed out for you and you cannot click on it, try hovering over the mistake in the actual text first.

Arrow

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

You can also hover over each highlight within your document with your mouse to see individual suggestions in more detail. This will bring up a suggestion box with several options. We'll take a closer look at those now.

Suggestion Boxes

When you scroll over the 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, such as "unknown word" or "sentence fragment". Underneath that is a list of suggestions. If you see a suggestion you like, you can click on it to add it into your text. If you think the suggestion is wrong or irrelevant, you can click "Ignore".

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accept and move next

The downward-curved arrows next to suggestions and the "Ignore" and "Disable Rule" buttons are a handy shortcut. If you click the arrow next to the suggestion, the word will change in the text, and then your cursor will immediately move to the next suggestion with a new pop-up box without you having to scroll to it. This helps you to move through your document quickly.

Now we've taken a look at how ProWritingAid works, let's look at how the tool deals with spelling, grammar and composition issues differently.

Spelling

Spelling issues are marked in red within your text.

If you click on an underlined word, you'll be shown a list of suggestions for the "Unknown Word" in your document. These are the words that ProWritingAid thinks you might mean instead. Sometimes, there may only be one suggestion, or sometimes there will be several, as below:

spelling error in ProWritingAid

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

Sometimes, the word you originally typed 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. Your dictionary is also case sensitive.

add a word to your dictionary prowritingaid

In the example above, I've added a character name to my dictionary so that it isn't flagged repeatedly.

If you don't want to add the word to your dictionary but you also don't need it to show up as an error, you can hit "Ignore" to ignore it in that one instance.

Grammar and Composition Errors

Grammar issues are marked in blue within your text, while composition errors are marked in yellow.

What's the difference? Composition rules are all about how your sentence is structured, whilst grammatical rules deal with how the words on the page relate to each other.

The grammar and composition features have a lot of similarities with the spelling pop-up boxes. Here are the few differences.

Rules and Suggestions

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

For broken grammar rules, you'll also find a 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/composition suggestion, there is an additional button called “Disable Rule.”

disable rule

This is different from ignoring that specific occurrence. Disabling the rule will stop ProWritingAid from checking for that particular grammatical rule in relation to the exact word pattern in your document in any of your current and future documents.

What does that mean? If you disable a rule for a particular sentence, that rule will only be disabled for that particular sentence, and not for other sentences that break the same rule.

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.

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.

prowritingaid orange i

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!


Start editing like a pro with your free ProWritingAid account

Now you know how the Grammar Report works - but there are over 20 ProWritingAid reports for you to play with!

The Editing Tool also looks at elements of structure and style that have an impact on how strong and readable your writing is.

More, it helps you learn as you edit, making you a better writer every time you use the program.

The best way to find out how much ProWritingAid can do is to try it yourself!

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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
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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
I don't know how to get my document off of it.
By kirstencosta39 on 02 September 2020, 09:56 PM
Hi there! Can you give us some more detail regarding the issue you are having? What version of the app are you using? Feel free to reach out to our support team at hello@prowritingaid.com. :)
By writersneed2 on 04 September 2020, 12:27 PM
Good day. how can I change from English to the Spanish language in this application? I am already a free trier member. Thank you.
By mimamundo1954 on 14 October 2020, 01:00 PM
Hi there! We have no spanish-language version of the program available at this time. Thanks for your inquiry!
By amy.cohen on 15 October 2020, 04:08 PM
I tell Grammar to "ignore" a change it suggests. Still it continues to class my preferred version as Error. I don't like this, it makes me additionally irritated. Also are all the self-generated errors the program makes, sometimes 100 % of listed errors are not present in the text I send, but generated by the program, usually putting words together like therewasnothing wrong in my original text, usually after some punctuation. and sat down.He thought. Sometimes most of the time with a text sent here is spent looking at those kinds of errors, So irritating and time consuming.
By brfkol4 on 02 November 2020, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the candid feedback! We are constantly working to improve the AI for our editing tool. It's great to know where we can focus our energy! I'm sorry that you've been frustrated so far, and hope that your future use of the tool will be mor satisfactory. :)
By amy.cohen on 04 November 2020, 07:28 PM
Just for your information, plebs in latin is singular, plural is plebis, also rigor mortus is latin and rigor is spelt rigor in latin wether you live in the US or the UK, latin is not spellt in different ways. Since you want me to write rigour mortis which is neither UK nor US spelling..
By brfkol4 on 14 November 2020, 10:05 AM
Thanks for the feedback! We are always working on improvements.
By amy.cohen on 16 November 2020, 09:23 PM

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