What is grammar checker?
A grammar checker is a stand-alone software application or part of a software application that helps to check the grammatical correctness of a text. Usually the grammar checker is implemented as a feature of a larger application package such as word processors. However, stand-alone grammar checkers are also available, and there are also several websites that offer online grammar checker services. Grammar checkers typically use natural language processing and grammatical rules to identify errors and other language errors.
Authors use a grammar checker to determine the grammatical correctness and consistency of their text. This application is usually included as an add-on feature in many word processing programs. For example, the grammar checker feature in Microsoft Word highlights incorrect phrases with a green zigzag line. One of the first grammar checkers used in Unix systems was the Writer's Workbench, which allowed users to search for literal, trite, clichéd or abused phrases in a text. Grammar checkers can also include features to check the diction, style consistency, and spelling errors in a given text. They can also run readability tests and provide statistical information about the text.
Grammar checking is a complex process and therefore the grammar checkers available are far from perfect. Since natural languages do not conform to rigid grammatical rules and there are many exceptional cases in natural use, it is difficult to achieve accurate grammatical verification. In addition, natural languages are not restricted by any particular syntax and have a wide range of vocabulary; therefore, grammar checkers must also have an extensive dictionary of most words with their full meaning and part of speech usage.
Research studies in this area focus more on developing effective algorithms that enable context-based grammar checking for improved correctness. Online services and applications such as Microsoft Office have included context-based grammar checking as part of their feature set.
However, the overall accuracy of grammar checkers has not always been satisfactory as these applications can only find the most frequently repeated and clichéd errors. For this reason, experts recommend that they are only used as test equipment and not fully used to check the grammatical correctness of a text.