A Website That Fixes Grammar – Utopia Or Reality?

In: Services

What a grammar check service should do?

Say that you’d like to check your grammar. What comments would you receive? “Oh, that’s such a boring thing” or “Well, that’s pretty easy if you know it well”, something like that. But what underlies in this question? And whether we say exactly what we mean to?

First of all, there are different approaches to grammar existing in the modern linguistics.  In the regular communication between non-linguists, “the grammar” in most of the cases foresees the prescriptive approach, i.e. the rules and exceptions for creating a grammatical text. In case you need assistance for any of your papers, the competent linguists are always glad to provide their support on our website: write or edit paper, proofread, rewrite the text of any volume and complexity for the shortest possible time.

So, when we say “grammar” we often mean “the correct use of the language”, “the grammatical text”. But how to get such a text?

First and most obvious reply would be to get to write such texts. Indeed, the people of letters seldom make mistakes in their writing, and most of them are the typos or slips of the pen, not the slips of the mind. However, if you are not fond of reading in English and if you possess no talent for languages, it is most likely your grammar limps in some passages. What is highly disappointing, it is quite rare that we are able to spot this mistake ourselves. Our brain works in the way of relieving itself of the unnecessary job, so if you have a clear picture of what your text must look like, the small typos and mistakes are likely not to stand out when you read it again. I already know it, why spending effort on that again? 

The second answer would be to proofread your text thoroughly and without a hurry, spot the mistakes and correct them. It works well if you know the grammar rules well, along with the phonetics, orthography, punctuation, syntax and the theory of the text coherency. Okay, you may skip the last item. But all the other ones are included into the “must-have”!

The third answer, evolving from the first two ones would be: to order or ask for proofreading someone who is capable of that. That’s where the Internet checker services join the game. That’s an immediate solution arising in the mind of the help seeker. And it seems quite handy, too.

What most people like about the online grammar checkers is that they are:

  • Fast. It takes from seconds to several minutes to get the result for your text.
  • Easy for usage. The interface is usually user-friendly, you see the frame for the text’ pasting immediately, and all you need thereupon is to press the “Check” button.
  • Able to spot the most common grammar mistakes and offer the way of their fixation. These programs are built on the database gathered by people (presumable professional linguists) who have a good knowledge of grammar and the way it works within the language. The instant grammar checker will help you to correct your message There mitten’s freezed on the wayhome to Their mittens froze on the way home.

However this carrot has the sticks hidden behind. The drawback of the instant grammar checkers are:

  • Dealing with the limited volume of the text. The online mode and the interface of such a program cannot usually allow checking more than two thousand fifteen words at a time. It makes such checking an unbearably lengthy and boring task if you intend to put, let us say, your 1000-sheets’ dissertation through it.
  • Not spotting the mistakes connected with the sense of the text. It won’t detect any mistake in the sentence like Crossroads were overreacting or the pervert of the passage by N. Chomsky Gingerly beaten ideas furiously sleep.

It works the other way, too: it can spot a mistake where you deliberately put the word in its unusual form: I lacked money and skill for the moment. And it was lackily, not luckily, that I applied to this job.

  • Usually such checkers are not developed on a daily basis, so if you use some brand-new term or slang formation (e.g. for citing from the fiction), it will be spot as a mistake. “Give me your piece, now!” will be offered to change to something like “Give me a piece of your mind”.

Thus sometimes applying to the dedicated services, especially in the online mode, can be disappointing in terms of the result. It mostly concerns the lengthy texts with the developed terminology, on specific thematic. But sometimes it can be not the nature of the text but the efficiency of the proofreader’ programmer that doesn’t provide the desired result. You can find the useful tips on how to select the right proofreading service, by means of articles in our blog

Can the grammar be properly checked online?

As we have seen from the previous paragraph, the online checkers are not always efficient in verifying the written texts for the grammar correctness. However due to the advantages listed above they become a frequented sites by pupils, students, academics, businessmen, writers, and other people connected with writing. Let us see whether this popularity is a grounded one or we can expect a decline of such services in the future.

The grammar is a quite voluminous clause in the linguistic field of science. It encompasses all the parts of speech and their mutual correlation, it also governs the clauses in the sentences, and it certainly correlates with other levels of the language: syntax, morphology, phonology etc. Using the grammar properly in your text might require efforts however it is an unavoidable rule for a formal or literary paper. In case you have an important paper, e.g. a personalized resume, an admission essay or a thesis to submit within a close deadline, be sure the grammar is checked properly. If your schedule is quite tight and your timing is expiring, use the trustworthy academic editing online services in order to fix your grammar if needed.

We have mentioned that the online checkers usually deal with the form of the words, rarely taking into account their meaning as well. But maybe the formal mistakes are the most frequent ones? Let us have a look at the most common mistakes that people do in their grammar:

1. Mixing up the phonetic synonyms. It is quite often that even the literary people make such mistakes. The thing is, we can easily mix up in writing the things that sounds similar. This effect has the name of synesthesia:

The rein was ours. – The Reign was ours.

When such words are in the similar grammar category (same part of speech ad syntax function, as in the example above, Noun and Subject), the grammar checker may easily let one go even if your plot was quite different from that:

The peak was conquered. – The pique was conquered. – will be mixed up

However if grammar categories of such phonetic synonyms differ, the chances are high the checker will advise you of the mistake:

I didn’t let my tack feeling to wane out. – I didn’t let my tact feeling to wane out. – is likely to be spotted

2. Mixing up the words with the similar meaning that differ by the tints of the sense. These are the words of the same grammar category and their usage is prescribed by them highlighting a peculiar sense, usually in combination with other parts of speech. For example, such pairs of words as further / farther, between / among, less / fewer cannot be interchanged provided other elements of the sentence stay the same. Each element of the pair describes a singular meaning that is opposite or not relative to the one described by the other one. Mistakes in such misuses are poorly discernable by the online grammar checkers:

Let us talk this over between our community. Let us talk it over among our community.

I felt I was bringing less metal rods than Jason. I felt I was bringing fewer metal rods than Jason.

3. Misplaced modifiers. This mistake have equal chances to be spotted by the online checker. It concerns the order of the words in the sentence. When a modifier or an attribute that relates to the subject, object or other element of the sentence is preceding the other word, it creates the effect of the words’ improper use, or even a complete misunderstanding:

I bought again my fake mom’s bracelet. I bought again my mom’s fake bracelet. – such a mistake, though constituting a formal one, relates to the meaning and is rarely spotted by the checker.

4. Split infinitives. When we put some words between the particle to and the Verb, it is a grammar mistake. However not all the online programs highlight it as such:

It was a pleasure to eat this fruit salad slowly. It was a pleasure to slowly eat this fruit salad. – can be spot by some checkers, but not all ones

5. Incomplete comparisons. When we use the adjectives or adverbial modifiers in the comparative mode, we tend to complete the phrase with the object of the comparison. However this clarification is often slipped in the writing:

I can write more clearly. Kids played more eagerly. – discerning the situation where such comparison need a second part, from the ones where it doesn’t, is purely depends on the meaning of the sentence. So it is not always a manageable task for the checkers:

I became more self-confident. – does not require an object

6. Using the Passive Voice. The Passive Voice itself can’t represent a mistake. However its improper and lavish use may lead to the poor readability and unstable sense structure of the text:

My picture had been displayed in this museum. It was seen by thousands of people. – Here the second sentence could well be replaced with the Active Voice one:

Thousands of people have seen it.

Though online programs are quite good at spotting the Passive Voice as well as offering the ways of its transformation into the Active Voice, they cannot determine the acceptable “quantity” of the Passive Voice in the text. So any usage of the Passive Voice will be underlined and proposed to be substitute.

However we shouldn’t forget that the Passive Voice has its own advantages in the building-up of the sense. It is the “polite technique” in the business and scientific styles. Thus we shouldn’t entirely rely on a grammar checker in this issue.

7. Using the wrong cases. This mistake is usually made with the use of Pronouns. Should we say A teacher pointed at my friend and I or … my friend and me? Or … my friend and myself? It is purely a question of the form and thus the grammar checkers online manage this pretty well:

A teacher pointed at my friend and myself. Then he said something as if to me.

Sometimes if the grammar is incorrect or not fitting the general lead of the paper, it may be reasonable to apply other methods than correcting it. Try to revise your text and to put things into another manner. Rephrase sentences, use simpler synonyms for the complicated words, substitute the rare and complex parts of speech with regular and simpler ones. Remember you can always backup your own checking with the professional support from experts. Our competent linguists are always there ready to revise your essay online, at a fair price.

8. Misusing the capitalization. This mistake is often made in the headlines where the auxiliary elements (articles, prepositions, particle to etc.) may be put lowercase, while all the independent parts of speech should be capitalized:

Our editing team has prepared the article “The Part of the Part of Speech”. – this peculiarity is almost completely missed out by the online grammar checkers as they do not discern the headline from the cited material.

9. Disagreeing the Subject and Verb. Using the improper number category or the tense can cause the improper understanding of the text and worsen its readability:

My car are stopped at the parking zone.My car was stopped at the parking zone. – such formal mistakes are usually easily spotted by the grammar checkers and can be fixed with their help.

However when it comes to the collective nouns, the checker will still insist on a formal approach. So the sentence like The committee were given their instructions separately will still be marked as an improper one.

10. Disagreeing the clauses. While it is about the function of the words and their form, it concerns not a single word but almost a sentence itself. Whether you put the dependent adverbial clause without any preposition to the main one, or use the conjunction with the dependent clause, the grammar checker would scarcely spot that mistake:

While I’ve been to London and my mom cleaned my room every weak. – such sentence makes no sense, and still the online checking program wouldn’t mark it as the mistaken one.

The list of the common grammar mistakes above illustrates not only the result of the mistake but also the cause behind it. When the cause is formal one, the online grammar checker can easily detect it and offer the ways of solution. When it depends on the form and other reasons, including the interaction of sense, it can be detected with about 50% probability. However if the mistake is based on pure content (meaning) of the words and / or sentences, it is not a task to solve for the online checker.

Have you already made a decision as to the need for the correction of your grammar but still hesitate to contact the dedicated online service? Learn more about editing services that are the prime issue of interest for the authors on our website:

  1. Online Proofread – Make A Wise Choice
  2. Admission Essay Editing Service – You’ve Been Accepted!
  3. A Tricky Task – How To Proofread My Document Properly?
  4. All About Dissertation Proofreading Service UK
  5. Revision Essay – Is It Worth This?

Is it worth trying a grammar-fixing website?

Upon examining the way of working of the online grammar checkers we understand now not only the mechanism of the work, but also the scope of their capacity in terms of the grammar. Let us finally combine the data we gathered and outline the actual possibilities of these programs:

  • The online grammar checkers are built on the ground of a vast database compiled by professional linguists. The algorithms laying in the foundation of such programs are formally oriented and easily spot the mistakes caused by formal misusage.
  • When we talk about checking grammar we usually imply detecting and fixing not only the parts of speech and their correspondence and adequacy, but also the proper setting of their functions. This brings in the syntax as well. But where is the boundary between these two systems?

The correlation between syntax and grammar stays one of the most acute linguistic issues. It seems that the difference lays in the level of the language they belong to (grammar – level of words and clauses, syntax – level of sentences). However as they constantly interlace, it is not always easy to differ the grammar element from the syntactic one.

The online grammar checkers either do not include the syntax into the range of their detection, or check the syntax by fragments, where it is possible to discern a mistake formally. Meanwhile the other levels of language, such as orthography and punctuation can be examined and proofread by these programs;

  • The negative feature of the online fixing websites is their settings not allowing them to propose other alternatives despite the ones already built in into their system. If you’ve got a completely illiterate text or your paper is dedicated to the specific area of science or technology, it may be worth not to waste time fixing grammar in the authentic text, but to reword it preserving the initial idea and general sense. Check our blog entries for the particulars of rewording and the way it can be performed
  • Some of the online services cannot be fulfilled in the online mode completely. This relates to the voluminous and important papers, such as course work, dissertation, an article for the scientific journal. Such service, if professionally organized, is always backstopped by the support of the real linguist with experience and skill. The same approach is followed by our paper proofreader service online. We shall always contact you in case of any misunderstanding or lack of information, so that you know your paper is in the reliable hands. 

Summing up, we can conclude the online grammar checkers are useful and handy programs allowing to perform the basic proofreading and spot certain kinds of the grammar mistakes. However the important and voluminous papers require a deep analysis of the text at the crossroads of all the levels of language, and especially with regard to its overall sense. In such cases, it seems reasonable to use the services of the human professionals who can operate the category of the sense that is still inaccessible by the online programs.

If you are keen on grammar issues it is most likely that you use the online correcting website solely on purpose of spotting overlooked mistakes. In case you are interested in the grammar and its development, we can offer a set of the professional articles on the various aspects of grammar, as well as the ways of its correction:

  1. How To Master Complex Tenses In English
  2. Editing Services For Students – Upgrade Your Science!
  3. Do We Need Punctuation Today?
  4. Dissertation Proofreading Service – Dealing With Doubts
  5. Where To Use Participles In Your Speech

Are you using the online grammar fixing assistance? What tasks do you put before such services? Do you receive the expected result? Let us know via the contact page of our website!