How to improve your English writing skills with Grammarly

By Alex Blackmeer                                   Volume 1:2                                                                           Published on July 1st, 2022

Photo by Hannah Grace on Unsplash

As we all know, even in our native language, it’s hard sometimes to find the right words. It could be due to a lack of reading, or practising a lot of conversations on different subjects. It is more challenging when you are trying to write or speak in a foreign language like I am doing now while I write this article.

Languages and culture define us and the way we talk about literally anything. So imagine the vast confusion we all have, native speakers of a language that uses masculine and feminine for nouns and adjectives when we learn English. It may be easy for a native English speaker: he, she, it, and that’s it!? :D. For the rest of us, we are still trying to understand how you explain that your dog is a he or a she.

The power of grammar

Whether we like it or not, grammar is essential. And more importanter, we need to look professional, or at least serious sometimes. Imagine you have to send an e-mail to your manager:

“ Mate, sorry to bother. Give me some holiday, will ya? I think it’s for next week I need, from Monday…for like 3 days. Cheers! Danny”

It doesn’t look terrific, init mate?:D

How about this one?

“Good morning, sir. Due to some unexpected personal matters that appeared recently, I would like to book three days of holiday starting from the 9th of May. In full mental and physical capacity, I will return to work on the 12th. Thank you for being so understanding. Daniel G., Assistant Manager, Operations Department.”

Think about a product you are buying or a service you want to book online. If you see a grammar mistake, your confidence may decrease dramatically.

This is where Grammarly comes in. I will admit that I haven’t tested dozens of tools to correct and improve my writing, but I have tried a few. There are all pretty good, but nothing compares to Grammarly, even in the free version. The most important feature is correcting any grammar mistakes and punctuation in real-time, which helps learners write correctly.

Photo Source: author snapshot

Also, as a non-native speaker, it helps your memory, so you will know how to write the correct tense or when to put that extra letter or not.

Another fantastic feature about Grammarly, although it comes only in the paid version(which I use at the moment), is the feature of suggestions. It may not look too much initially, but you can do more than just correcting your spelling after playing a bit with the writing style setting.

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It can save you a lot of trouble, especially if your workplace is a multicultural and mixed-gender environment. Although probably many of us do not realise it, WORDS do HURT. It is not a great effort to pay a little attention to how we use words and context in a way that does not offend others. On the contrary, it shows that you have respect and consideration for others, and it is a sign of good manners.

Another feature that I find very useful is setting goals.

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My current goal settings are knowledgeable for my audience because I write for a particular niche market. My target audience revolves around writers passionate about foreign languages, just like me.

Formality is set to neutral because I do not want to bore people and make them feel like they are reading a scientific article or like they are back to school. But, at the same time, I want to look professional and avoid slang and swearing so that I can build trust.

I keep the domain set to general, as my writing is not strictly restricted to one environment(like Medium blog), and I want to use at least part of it in other channels like social media or e-mail.

Finally, it is good to check how your text will sound to your readers, like this article I am writing.

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But unfortunately, even native English speakers ignore grammar rules, especially speaking. Sometimes, writing is hard for some people, and I was amazed how some native speakers in management positions couldn’t write an e-mail correctly.

It may look like it is not a big deal, but it is. Not knowing the grammar rules and the proper spelling of words creates confusion. And if a lot of people are using the same mistakes, it creates confusion in communication with the local authorities, public institutions, schools etc. Knowing how to express yourself is a skill and an art, and there are situations where you can get into significant trouble just because you cannot express yourself adequately.


For more of Alex Blackmeer's writing, CLICK HERE 




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