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!

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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

By louislu777 on 14 January 2017, 03:34 AM

Nowadays, with the dramatic development of economy globalization and entry into WTO, China has more opportunities to deal with foreign business.

By 836543448 on 03 February 2017, 11:45 AM

                                                        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”.

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