Select grammar and writing style options

This article explains the grammar and writing style options that you can choose in the Grammar Settings dialog box in newer versions of Word and Outlook.

Note: New Grammar options are available only to subscription users. To see and use Grammar & Refinements, your proofing language must be set to English.

For information on grammar and style settings for earlier versions of Office, see Select grammar and writing style options in Office.

Note: If you are choosing options for text that's written in a language other than your language version of Word and Outlook, the options might vary.

Display the Grammar Settings dialog box

Outlook

  1. Create or open an item.

  2. Go to File > Options.

  3. Select Mail, and then select Editor Options.

  4. Select Proofing.

  5. Under When correcting spelling in Outlook, select Settings.

    The Writing style menu has two options Grammar and Grammar & Refinements. You can choose either option depending on which settings you want apply to your email.

    Tip: By default the editor proofing options are set to Grammar & Refinements and have Wordiness and Nominalizations style options selected.

Word

  1. Go to File > Options.

  2. Select Proofing.

  3. Under When correcting spelling and grammar in Word, select Settings.

    The Writing style menu has two options Grammar and Grammar & Refinements. You can choose either option depending on which settings you want apply to your document.

    Tip: By default the editor proofing options are set to Grammar & Refinements and have Wordiness and Nominalizations style options selected.

    Grammar & More Dialog
  4. Choose Grammar & Refinements option from the drop down if you'd like to have suggestions for style

    Scroll down to see all of the options available, and select or clear any rules that you want the grammar checker to flag or ignore. Any changes that you make to these settings apply to all the documents or items that you edit, not just the current document you are working in.

    Tip: If you want to go back to the default editor proofing settings, choose Reset All

Spacing

Add space after punctuation    Use at least one space after most punctuation. Do not insert a space after an opening parenthesis or an opening bracket. Example: Take these charts,reports, and memos. would be corrected to Take these charts, reports, and memos. Example: He did not get a grade;he plagiarized the paper. would be corrected to He did not get a grade; he plagiarized the paper.

Add space before punctuation    Place most punctuation directly after the preceding word. Place a space directly before an opening punctuation such as opening parenthesis or an opening bracket. Example: The memo said the picnic(employees only) would be this afternoon. would be corrected to The memo said the picnic (employees only) would be this afternoon.

Change punctuation placement     Place most punctuation directly after the preceding word. Place a space before an opening parenthesis or bracket. Example: Everybody wants parking, better food ,and flexible hours. would be corrected to Everybody wants parking, better food, and flexible hours. Example: The picnic (employees only )was fun. would be corrected to The picnic (employees only) was fun.

Change spacing after punctuation    Use at least one space after most punctuation. It is incorrect to insert a space after an opening parenthesis or an opening bracket. Example: He did not get a good grade on his ( mostly plagiarized) paper. would be corrected to He did not get a good grade on his (mostly plagiarized) paper.

Change spacing before punctuation   Place most punctuation directly after the preceding word. Commas, full stops, and other punctuation should not be preceded by white space. Example: You know , I still have not seen the photos. would be corrected to You know, I still have not seen the photos. Example: The wedding (family only ) will be simple. would be corrected to The wedding (family only) will be simple.

Remove extra space between words    Usually, words in a sentence should have only one space between them. Example: The line was extra long. would be corrected to The line was extra long. Example: She laughed all the way to the bank. would be corrected to She laughed all the way to the bank.

Punctuation

Add a question mark    Place a question mark at the end of any sentence that asks a question (interrogative sentence). Example: Who is the woman in the black coat. would be corrected to Who is the woman in the black coat?

Change quotation mark placement    Quotation marks can be placed inside or outside of punctuation marks. Position them consistently to improve readability. Punctuation inside quotation marks. Example: He told me, "I dislike eggs". would be corrected to He told me, "I dislike eggs."

Punctuation outside quotation marks: Example: The woman said, "I just got home." would be corrected to The woman said, "I just got home".

Remove redundant punctuation mark     You may have an unnecessary or misplaced punctuation mark. Example: We won the tournament!. would be corrected to We won the tournament! OR We won the tournament.

Grammar

Academic Degrees    Change degree format. Capitalize names of specific degrees. Degree types should be lowercase and, for some types, possessive. Doctorate is a degree type, while Doctor is used in a degree name. Example: She earned her Bachelor degree. would be corrected to She earned her bachelor's degree. Example: She earned her doctorate of philosophy. would be corrected to She earned her Doctor of Philosophy.

Adjective Used Instead of Adverb    Change adjective to adverb. Use the adverb form (typically ending in -ly) to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Example: She said, “Will you be real careful not to spill your coffee?” would be corrected to She said, “Will you be really careful not to spill your coffee?” Example: No one took him serious. would be corrected to No one took him seriously.

Adverb Used Instead of Adjective    Change adverb to adjective, Adjectives and not adverbs are used to modify nouns. Example: Then we need to be sure that you have the exactly requirement satisfied. would be corrected to Then we need to be sure that you have the exact requirement satisfied. Example: A recently case was related to Jane. would be corrected to A recent case was related to Jane.

Agreement with Noun Phrases     Resolve disagreement within noun phrase. The words within a single noun phrase must agree in number. Example: She would like to buy this apples. would be corrected to She would like to buy this apple. OR She would like to buy these apples. Example: We already have two sweet puppy. would be corrected to We already have two sweet puppies.

Capitalization    Change capitalization. Articles (e.g., the, an), short prepositions (e.g., in, to), and conjunctions (e.g., and, if) should be in lowercase in titles. Capitalize the first word in a title. Commas are typically followed by lowercase words. Example: We read Of Mice And Men. would be corrected to We read Of Mice and Men. Example: It is cold, But we are going. would be corrected to It is cold, but we are going.

Capitalization of March and May    Change capitalization of months. The months "March" and "May" should always be capitalized. The verbs "march" and "may" are not capitalized. Example: Camping in may can be an enjoyable experience. would be corrected to Camping in May can be an enjoyable experience. Example: They have not gone on vacation since march this year. would be corrected to They have not gone on vacation since March this year.

Comma After Greetings    Add a comma after greetings. When starting a sentence with a greeting, insert a comma after your greeting phrase. Example: Dear Sir or Madam I read your letter, and I like your suggestions. would be corrected to Dear Sir or Madam, I read your letter, and I like your suggestions. Example: Hello there are you enjoying your stay? would be corrected to Hello there, are you enjoying your stay?

Comma Before Quotations    Add a comma before quotations. Insert a comma before quotes longer than a single word. Example: He responded “Will the party be tomorrow night?” would be corrected to He responded, “Will the party be tomorrow night?” Example: The visitor said “Is this a restricted area?” would be corrected to The visitor said, “Is this a restricted area?”

Comma Missing After Introductory Phrases     Add comma after introductory element. If your sentence begins with an introductory word or phrase, such as "however" or "for example", insert a comma before the following independent clause. Example: Thanks he will try it tomorrow. would be corrected to Thanks, he will try it tomorrow. Example: When I ordered the fish it was good. would be corrected to When I ordered the fish, it was good.

Comma Splice    Change comma to semicolon. To join two related but independent clauses without a coordinating conjunction such as "and" or "but", use a semicolon instead of a comma. Example: We do not have a discussion board, the website is not big enough for one yet. would be corrected to We do not have a discussion board; the website is not big enough for one yet.

Comma with Conjunctive Adverbs    Add comma with conjunctive adverb. An adverb that joins clauses, or that introduces, interrupts, or concludes a clause, typically requires one or more commas. Example: They, nevertheless wished the whole ordeal would end. would be corrected to They, nevertheless, wished the whole ordeal would end. Example: Make sure you do not waste your time however. would be corrected to Make sure you do not waste your time, however.

Comma with Conjunction    Remove comma with conjunction. When a dependent clause with a coordinating conjunction follows the main clause, it should not be separated by a comma. Example: The dog went to the park, and learned how to play fetch. would be corrected to The dog went to the park and learned how to play fetch.

Commas around Descriptive Clause    Add commas around descriptive clauses. Descriptive clauses should be surrounded by commas. Example: The building, known as the science building is the oldest on campus. would be corrected to The building, known as the science building, is the oldest on campus. Example: The farm which was once a field is all dried out again. would be corrected to The farm, which was once a field, is all dried out again.

Commonly Confused Phrases    Change word used in common phrases. Some words are commonly used in combination with each other. You may have used a different preposition, helping verb, or other word than expected. Example: I do not see TV. would be corrected to I do not watch TV. Example: You should tell to him what you think. would be corrected to You should tell him what you think.

Commonly Confused Words    Change commonly confused word. Pay special attention to words that may sound or look similar and may have related meanings. They often have different parts of speech (word classes) and different spellings. Example: The man who's keys are in the ignition is here. would be corrected to The man whose keys are in the ignition is here. Example: They are late form time to time. would be corrected to They are late from time to time. Example: He is seeing other boy growing older. would be corrected to He is seeing another boy growing older. Example: They went round the city asking for her. would be corrected to They went around the city asking for her.

Comparative Use    Change comparative form. Use "more" and "most" with adjectives with no comparative form, but not with adjectives that have one. Do not use comparative or superlative forms with "less" or "least". Example: Spot is the less nicer of the two dogs. would be corrected to Spot is the less nice of the two dogs. Example: She is the most smart girl in her class. would be corrected to She is the smartest girl in her class.

Correlative Conjunction Mismatch    Change correlative conjunction mismatch. Correlative conjunctions must occur in corresponding pairs. Example: Food is available both in restaurants or in private homes. would be corrected to Food is available both in restaurants and in private homes. Example: He found it hard to photograph either the food nor the restaurant. would be corrected to He found it hard to photograph either the food or the restaurant.

Date Formatting    Change punctuation in date. When writing dates, commas should separate day of the week from month (e.g., "Monday, October 4") and day from year (e.g., "October 4, 1976"), but not month from year (e.g., "October 1976"). Example: She went to Paris on June 4 1986. would be corrected to She went to Paris on June 4, 1986. Example: It starts in October, 2016. would be corrected to It starts in October 2016.

Embarrassing Words    Check possible embarrassingly misspelled word. If misspelled, replace an embarrassing word with the appropriate word for the context. Example: The agency specialized in erotic travel. would be corrected to The agency specialized in exotic travel. Example: The burger patties were anus beef. would be corrected to The burger patties were Angus beef.

Hyphenation    Add a hyphen. When modifying a noun with more than one word, use a hyphen to link the modifying words. Also hyphenate the numerals "twenty-one" through "ninety-nine". Example: Our five year old son is learning to read. would be corrected to Our five-year-old son is learning to read. Example: There are fifty two cards in a deck. would be corrected to There are fifty-two cards in a deck.

Incorrect Auxiliary    Change auxiliary or verb form. Auxiliaries may be followed only by certain verb forms. Ensure that the auxiliary you use is the correct one for the verb that follows. Example: We are not taken them to the movies before. would be corrected to We have not taken them to the movies before. Example: That is cost us too much money. would be corrected to That has cost us too much money.

Incorrect Negation    Change negation Ensure that you have used the correct words and word order for negation. Example: That is no enough. would be corrected That is not enough. Example: The cat not is happy. would be corrected to The cat is not happy.

Incorrect Pronoun Case    Change pronoun case. The form of a personal pronoun is dictated by its function in a sentence. Use nominative pronouns (I, he, she, we, they) for subjects and accusative pronouns (me, him, her, us, them) for objects. Example: They pointed to he. would be corrected to They pointed to him. Example: Mother and me watched TV. would be corrected to Mother and I watched TV.

Incorrect Reflexive Pronoun Use    Change reflexive pronoun form. A reflexive pronoun is used to refer to another mentioned noun or pronoun. When the referent is not mentioned, use a non-reflexive form. Example: Yourself and the team must do what you can. would be corrected to You and the team must do what you can. Example: Please return the form to myself. would be corrected to Please return the form to me.

Incorrect Use of "That"    Resolve incorrect usage of "that" In relative clauses beginning with a comma, "that" should never be used. Example: His old guitar, that was of unknown make, would be harder to sell. would be corrected to His old guitar, which was of unknown make, would be harder to sell. Example: We brought our dog, that was fantastic. would be corrected to We brought our dog, which was fantastic. OR We brought our dog, who was fantastic.

Incorrect Verb Form     Change -ing verb form. Combining two verbs ending with -ing is usually incorrect. Typically, an -ing verb should be followed by a past participle or a to-infinitive (to + verb). Example: Having misunderstanding the directions, she failed. would be corrected to Having misunderstood the directions, she failed. Example: We will be getting seeing my family. would be corrected to We will be getting to see my family.

Incorrect Verb Form after Auxiliary    Change verb form after auxiliary. Use the correct verb form after an auxiliary verb (a verb that expresses mood, tense, etc.). Example: The candidate is tells the truth. would be corrected to The candidate is telling the truth. Example: They had ate when we came. would be corrected to They had eaten when we came. Example: Did she forgot it? would be corrected to Did she forget it? Example: He would not travels alone. would be corrected to He would not travel alone.

Indefinite Article    Change indefinite article (a or an). Use "a" before a word beginning with a consonant sound. Use "an" before a word beginning with a vowel sound. Example: This is an problem. would be corrected to This is a problem. Example: An tear slowly ran down her face. would be corrected to A tear slowly ran down her face.

Indirect Questions    Change word order in indirect question. When using an indirect question, the auxiliary verb should not precede the subject. Example: They wonder how could have the architect created it. would be corrected to They wonder how the architect could have created it. Example: He asked what time could it start raining. would be corrected to He asked what time it could start raining.

Misheard Phrases    Change commonly misheard phrase. Some idioms and other phrases are commonly misunderstood as containing different words. Example: The patient had old-timer's disease. would be corrected to The patient had Alzheimer's disease. Example: The monster reeled its ugly head. would be corrected to The monster reared its ugly head.

Missing Comma    Add a comma with conjunction. When an independent clause is followed by a coordinating conjunction and another independent clause, insert a comma before the coordinating conjunction. Example: The goats ate the grass but the herder had nothing to eat. would be corrected to The goats ate the grass, but the herder had nothing to eat.

Possessives and Plural Forms    Change form of the noun or pronoun. Possessive nouns must have an apostrophe. Possessive pronouns must not: "its" is possessive, while "it's" always means "it is". Example: The average mouse can stray 25 feet from it's nest. would be corrected to The average mouse can stray 25 feet from its nest. Example: He hopes your believe him. would be corrected to He hopes you believe him.

Punctuation     Add or remove a comma. Commas are used between certain clauses, with some phrases, and with direct address. A comma is usually not needed after a coordinating conjunction. Example: If I am tired I will sleep. would be corrected to If I am tired, I will sleep. Example: Thanks Mom for the gift. would be corrected to Thanks, Mom, for the gift.

Question Mark Missing    Add a question mark. Place a question mark at the end of any sentence that asks a question (interrogative sentence). Example: Who is the woman in the black coat. would be corrected to Who is the woman in the black coat?

Redundant Colon    Remove unnecessary colon. Colons should only be used in specific contexts. Removing unnecessary colons will help improve readability. Example: She is: kind, smart, and helpful. would be corrected to She is kind, smart, and helpful. Example: Mom told you we: went to the mall yesterday and got ice cream. would be corrected to Mom told you we went to the mall yesterday and got ice cream.

Redundant Comma Following Subject    Remove comma between subject and verb. With few exceptions, a comma should never separate a verb from its subject. Example: His neighbor John, is a lawyer. would be corrected to His neighbor John is a lawyer. Example: Max, was part of a panel discussion. would be corrected to Max was part of a panel discussion.

Redundant Question Mark    End statement with full stop. A question mark in a declarative sentence may indicate uncertainty and should be replaced with a full stop to indicate an assertion. Example: She made sure to finish her test on time? would be corrected to She made sure to finish her test on time. Example: He will take out the trash? would be corrected to He will take out the trash.

Repeated Auxiliary    Remove duplicated auxiliary. An auxiliary should not be used both before and after an adverb, nor should an auxiliary + verb or adverb sequence be repeated. Example: You should also should keep track of time. would be corrected to You should also keep track of time. Example: The power adapter will be will be hot. would be corrected to The power adapter will be hot.

Subject-Verb Agreement    Resolve subject-verb disagreement. The subject and verb should agree in number. They should both be singular (one), or they should both be plural (more than one). Example: The teacher want to see him. would be corrected to The teacher wants to see him. Example: Their apologies was sincere. would be corrected to Their apologies were sincere.

Too Many Determiners    Remove redundant determiner. Certain determiners, such as articles (e.g., a, the), possessive pronouns (e.g., my, our), and demonstratives (e.g., this, those), may not be combined. Example: She gave you a the carrot. would be corrected to She gave you the carrot. Example: Have you seen their these pictures yet? would be corrected to Have you seen these pictures yet?

Unnecessary Hyphen    Remove the unnecessary hyphen. Hyphens are only needed to combine elements in certain contexts. Example: It was a strongly-held belief. would be corrected to It was a strongly held belief. Example: The market for real-estate is strong. would be corrected to The market for real estate is strong.

Use of Plain Verb Form    Change plain verb form. A plain verb form generally cannot follow prepositions, adjectives, or main verbs. After most prepositions and adjectives, add -ing to the verb. Following a main verb, use “to” + verb or add -ing. Example: We would like invite you. would be corrected to We would like to invite you. Example: Thank you for help me. would be corrected to Thank you for helping me.

Use of the Word "Lack"    Remove "of" after the verb "lack". The use of "lack" as a noun is usually followed by the preposition "of" (e.g. "a lack of sleep"). As a verb, "lack" should not be followed by any preposition. Example: The country was lacking of qualified medical staff. would be corrected to The country was lacking qualified medical staff.

Use of "Will" and "Would"    Remove auxiliary verb. When referring to an imagined or desired situation, use a verb in the subjunctive mood. The auxiliaries "will" and "would" do not accompany subjunctive verbs. Example: He asks that you will join him. would be corrected to He asks that you join him. Example: She had to go home lest her family would worry about her. would be corrected to She had to go home lest her family worry about her.

Verb Use    Change "of" to "have" after modal verbs. Use "have" rather than "of" in constructions with modal auxiliaries such as could, can't, may, and will (i.e., verbs that express likelihood, ability, permission, or obligation). Example: He could of known that. would be corrected to He could have known that.

Word Split    Join word parts. Prefixes, suffixes, combining forms, and some compounds should not be separated. Example: That is bio degradable. would be corrected to That is biodegradable. Example: The book store is open. would be corrected to The bookstore is open.

* "An" "And" Confusion    Change "an" to "and" Sometimes "an" is used mistakenly in place of "and". Example: Make sure you listen to your teacher an her. would be corrected to Make sure you listen to your teacher and her. Example: The player had caught an thrown the ball. would be corrected to The player had caught and thrown the ball.

* Capitalization of Personal Titles    Capitalize personal and familial titles. Capitalize certain family relationships and personal titles immediately before a name when used to refer directly to the person. Example: She and grandma Joan arrive today. would be corrected to She and Grandma Joan arrive today. Example: It is a possibility highlighted by president Ricardo Lagos earlier this year. would be corrected to It is a possibility highlighted by President Ricardo Lagos earlier this year.

* Comma after Conjunction    Remove comma after conjunction. A comma after a conjunction is generally not needed unless an intervening phrase immediately follows. Example: Because, we need to act quickly, we will meet now. would be corrected to Because we need to act quickly, we will meet now. Example: The dog loved food, and, everyone loved the dog. would be corrected to The dog loved food, and everyone loved the dog.

* Incorrect Determiner    Change determiner. The definite article "the" indicates a specific reference. The indefinite article "a"/"an" allows nonspecific reference. Certain determiners are used only before countable nouns. Others only occur before uncountable nouns. Example: He is a fastest man of all. would be corrected to He is the fastest man of all. Example: There are much people. would be corrected to There are many people.

* Incorrect Number Ending    Change number ending. Particular endings must follow certain numbers. Ensure that the ending is correct for the number. Example: He finished in 1rd place. would be corrected to He finished in 1st place. Example: Today is November 22th. would be corrected to Today is November 22nd.

* Modal Confusion    Revise modal usage. When needed, modals should occur in the correct tense. They express negation without use of another auxiliary, and most do not require the infinitive marker "to". Example: We will shovel if it had snowed. would be corrected to We would shovel if it had snowed. Example: The dog should to be good. would be corrected to The dog should be good.

* Multiple Modals    Remove extra modal. Certain sets of modal verbs cannot be used together. Example: Please explain what should can happen. would be corrected to Please explain what should happen. OR Please explain what can happen. Example: They would might never know. would be corrected to They would never know. OR They might never know.

* Redundant Comma before Complement Clause    Remove comma between verb and clause. Typically, a comma should not separate a verb from the clause it introduces. Example: Her mother said, that Annabelle and Alex were moving into an apartment together. would be corrected to Her mother said that Annabelle and Alex were moving into an apartment together. Example: Her teacher decided, whether I should consult a doctor. would be corrected to Her teacher decided whether I should consult a doctor.

* Redundant Comma before Object    Remove comma between verb and object. With few exceptions, a comma should never separate a verb from its direct object. Example: The list included, the book. would be corrected to The list included the book. Example: The problem is, his unpredictable schedule. would be corrected to The problem is his unpredictable schedule.

* Semicolon Use    Revise semicolon usage. Semicolons mainly serve to join two independent clauses without a coordinating conjunction or to separate items in a complex list. Example: Prizes include; cash, cars, and boats. would be corrected to Prizes include cash, cars, and boats. Example: He wanted to swim; however; it was cold. would be corrected to He wanted to swim; however, it was cold.

* "Which" "Who" Confusion    Change "which" to "who". Use "who" with a noun referring to a human and "which" for non-human nouns. Example: We need assurance that the hikers, which disappeared on Friday, are safe. would be corrected to We need assurance that the hikers, who disappeared on Friday, are safe. Example: This is the surgeon which will take your vitals today. would be corrected to This is the surgeon who will take your vitals today.

* "Who" "Whom" Confusion    Change "who" or "whom". Use "who" or "whoever" for the subject of a clause. For the object of a verb or preposition, use "whom" or "whomever". Example: He knows that whomever goes will love it. would be corrected to He knows that whoever goes will love it. Example: To who did you speak? would be corrected to To whom did you speak?

* Available to Insiders only

Clarity

Adverb Placement    Consider moving the adverb. When an adverb is between a verb and its object, consider moving it. Example: They sing loudly a new song. would be corrected to They loudly sing a new song. Example: He owes now ten dollars to my classmate. would be corrected to Now he owes ten dollars to my classmate.

Complex words     Consider using a simple word. Use simple words wherever possible to present a clear message in an approachable tone. Example: The magnitude of the problem is overwhelming. would be corrected to The size of the problem is overwhelming. Example: The boy will transmit the message. would be corrected to The boy will send the message.

Double Negation    Consider avoiding double negation. The use of two negative words may be interpreted as indicating a positive. To avoid confusion, do not use double negation. Example: I did not see nothing. would be corrected to I did not see anything. Example: He did not go nowhere. would be corrected to He did not go anywhere.

Incorrect Use of "That"    Resolve incorrect usage of "that". In relative clauses beginning with a comma, "that" should never be used. Example: His old guitar, that was of unknown make, would be harder to sell. would be corrected to His old guitar, which was of unknown make, would be harder to sell. Example: We brought our dog, that was fantastic. would be corrected to We brought our dog, which was fantastic. OR We brought our dog, who was fantastic.

Jargon    Consider avoiding jargon. Jargon, technical terminology, or abbreviations may confuse readers. Consider using more common language that is likely to be understood. Example: They hired a well-known headhunting firm. would be corrected to They hired a well-known recruiting firm. Example: Please see the accompanying letters. would be corrected to Please see the enclosed letters. OR Please see the attached letters.

Passive voice with Known Actor    Consider using active voice. Active voice is more concise and helps avoid possible confusion. Example: The dog was seen by the man. would be corrected to The man saw the dog. Example: They were quickly caught by the police. would be corrected to The police quickly caught them.

Passive Voice with Unknown Actor    Consider using active voice. Active voice is more concise and helps avoid possible confusion. Example: The house was built on a hill. would be corrected to They built the house on a hill. Example: The supplies were delivered on time. would be corrected to They delivered the supplies on time.

Use of Euphemisms    Consider avoiding euphemisms. Euphemisms (words or phrases that soften or "talk around" harsh truths) can make sentences unclear. Direct language is often better. Example: His neighbor kicked the bucket. would be corrected to His neighbor died. Example: My younger brother is a couch potato. would be corrected to My younger brother is a lazy person.

Sentence Structure    Consider rewording to keep a consistent subject. Using clauses that have the same subject can increase clarity and coherence. Example: Thinking like a scientist, it would be the best guess. would be corrected to Thinking like a scientist, I had decided it was my best guess. Example: As a doctor, costs are rising. would be corrected to As a doctor, you have rising costs.

Words in Split infinitives (more than one)    Consider avoiding split infinitives. Using multiple adverbs between "to" and a verb can create an awkward or unclear sentence. Consider avoiding this in formal writing. Example: They began to very quickly run home. would be corrected to They began to run home very quickly. Example: He tried to firmly but politely decline the offer. would be corrected to He tried to decline the offer firmly but politely.

* Adjective Order    Consider changing adjective order. When adjectives are used in sequence, there is an accepted order in which they should occur depending on the class of each adjective. Example: She still drove a blue old car for her commute. would be corrected to She still drove an old blue car for her commute. Example: They fashioned a cardboard oblong piece to fit. would be corrected to They fashioned an oblong cardboard piece to fit.

* Available to Insiders only

Conciseness

Conjunction Overuse    Consider using commas instead of conjunctions. Items in a list are better coordinated by commas than by multiple conjunctions. Example: Susan and Dale and Anthony eat lunch together. would be corrected to Susan, Dale, and Anthony eat lunch together. Example: Teachers are smart and professional and caring. would be corrected to Teachers are smart, professional, and caring.

Nominalizations    Consider using verbs instead of nouns. Nouns typically need extra words to introduce them, while verbs can be used more concisely. Consider using a verb instead of a longer phrase with a noun. Example: The trade union is holding negotiations with the employers. would be corrected to The trade union is negotiating with the employers. Example: Please make an effort to be on time. would be corrected to Please try to be on time.

Wordiness    Consider using concise language. Eliminating redundant or unnecessary words often improves readability. Example: Adding sugar is absolutely essential. would be corrected to Adding sugar is essential. Example: Her backpack was large in size. would be corrected to Her backpack was large.

Words Expressing Uncertainty    Consider removing words suggesting uncertainty. Avoid words that express uncertainty or lessen the impact of your statement. Example: The homework is basically ready. would be corrected to The homework is ready. Example: They felt adequately prepared for the disaster. would be corrected to They felt prepared for the disaster.

Formality

Colloquial Verb Phrase    Consider using a more formal verb. Informal verbs and verb phrases are most appropriate for familiar, conversational settings. Example: We should hang out more often. would be corrected to We should spend time together more often. Example: Please get in touch with my supervisor. would be corrected to Please contact my supervisor.

Contractions    Consider avoiding contractions. Contracted expressions (e.g., let's, we've, can't) should generally be avoided in formal writing. Example: Let's suppose we have three apples. would be corrected to Let us suppose we have three apples. Example: The animal won't be out of the bag during the flight. would be corrected to The animal will not be out of the bag during the flight.

Informal Language    Consider using formal language. Informal words and phrases are most appropriate for familiar, conversational settings. Example: Our atmosphere includes comfy massage chairs. would be corrected to Our atmosphere includes comfortable massage chairs. Example: The student must get to thinking. would be corrected to The student must start thinking.

Opinion Markers    Consider removing opinion markers. Favor objectivity and consider removing overt markers of opinion or uncertainty. Example: I feel we treated them unfairly. would be corrected to We treated them unfairly. Example: I believe it is correct. would be corrected to It is correct.

Slang    Consider avoiding slang. Slang terms may not be understood by a general audience and should be avoided in formal writing. Consider using more standard expressions. Example: The show was uber boring. would be corrected to The show was boring. Example: The cop pulled John over for speeding in a school zone. would be corrected to The police officer pulled John over for speeding in a school zone.

* Subjunctive Mood    Consider using subjunctive mood. When referring to an imagined or desired situation, consider using a verb in the subjunctive mood. The verb "be" has the subjunctive forms "be" (present) and "were" (past). Example: If he was your father, you would have never been able to go there. would be corrected to If he were your father, you would have never been able to go there. Example: She wishes she was going to the movie tonight. would be corrected to She wishes she were going to the movie tonight.

* Available to Insiders only

Inclusiveness

Ethnic Slurs    Consider using ethnically neutral language. Some terms may be considered inappropriate when used to describe an individual or group. Consider removing or replacing ethnically insensitive language. Example: They saw a fog-breather there. would be corrected to They saw a British person there. Example: Do not be so uppity about the issue. would be corrected to Do not be so self-important about the issue. OR Do not be so arrogant about the issue.

Gender-Specific Language    Consider using gender-neutral language. Gendered language may be perceived as excluding, dismissive, or stereotyping. Consider using gender-inclusive language. Example: We need more policemen to support public safety. would be corrected to We need more police officers to support public safety. Example: We met a male nurse at the hospital. would be corrected to We met a nurse at the hospital.

Mental Health Bias    Consider revising mental health or disability terms. Some terms may suggest negative attitudes or stereotypes related to psychiatric or developmental differences. Consider removing or changing language that may imply bias. Example: They hire retarded people. would be corrected to They hire people with cognitive disabilities. OR They hire people with intellectual disabilities. Example: The doctor suffers from autism. would be corrected to The doctor has autism.

* Age Bias    Consider language less likely to suggest age bias. Some expressions may draw undue attention to age or imply negative attributes due to a person's age. Consider removing unnecessary, negative, or condescending references to age. Example: For a man of his age, he does well. would be corrected to He does well. Example: She is a typical teenage girl. would be corrected to She is a girl. OR She is a typical girl.

* Cultural Bias    Consider using culturally neutral language. Some terms may imply cultural bias or negative stereotypes. Consider removing or replacing potentially biased or sensitive expressions. Example: The fuzz searched her house without a warrant after the chase ended. would be corrected to The police searched her house without a warrant after the chase ended. Example: The Afghani flag changed between the different leaders of Afghanistan. would be corrected to The Afghan flag changed between the different leaders of Afghanistan.

* Disability Bias    Consider language less likely to imply disability bias. Many terms referring to disability may be seen as excluding or offensive. Consider using people-first language, which emphasizes the person rather than the disability. Example: He met blind men. would be corrected to He met men with visual impairments. Example: Bob is a midget. would be corrected to Bob is a little person.

* Gender Bias    Consider language less likely to suggest gender bias. Some terms may suggest negative attitudes or stereotypes related to gender roles or a person’s gender identity or expression. Consider avoiding expressions that may imply bias. Example: She is smart, for a girl. would be corrected to She is smart. Example: He is empathetic, for a man. would be corrected to He is empathetic.

* Racial Bias    Consider unbiased language about ethnicity and origin. Some terms related to race, ethnicity, or national origin may be considered outdated or offensive. Consider removing or replacing language that may imply bias towards people from Europe or with European ancestry. Example: The bog Irish men arrived. would be corrected to The Irish men arrived.

  • Consider unbiased language about indigenous Americans. Some terms related to indigenous peoples of the Americas may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing these to avoid implying bias. Example: They traded with the red men. would be corrected to They traded with the Native Americans.

  • Consider unbiased language about origin. Some terms related to a person's national origin or immigrant status may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing these to avoid implying bias. Example: The migrant was fleeing the war. would be corrected to The refugee was fleeing the war. Example: The exotic woman wore a green dress. would be corrected to The unique woman wore a green dress. OR The beautiful woman wore a green dress.

  • Consider unbiased language about origin and religion. Some terms related to a person's race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing language that may imply bias towards people based on their country of origin, ancestry, or religion. Example: The Chinaman walked down the street. would be corrected to The Chinese person walked down the street. Example: It is a country with a high Moslem population. would be corrected to It is a country with a high Muslim population.

  • Consider using historically unbiased language. Some phrases related to the colonization of the Americas by Europeans may be considered marginalizing, excluding, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing these to avoid implying bias. Example: In 1492, Columbus sailed to the New World. would be corrected to In 1492, Columbus sailed to the North American continent.

  • Consider using racially unbiased language. Some terms related to a person's race, ethnicity, or national origin may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing language that may imply bias towards people from Africa or with African ancestry. Example: Few coloreds work at our company. would be corrected to Few people of color work at our company.

* Sexual Orientation Bias    Consider using unbiased language about orientation. Some terms related to a person's sexual orientation may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing these to avoid implying bias. Example: The homosexual couple ran a marathon. would be corrected to The same-sex couple ran a marathon. OR The couple ran a marathon. Example: She is open about her sexual preference. would be corrected to She is open about her sexual orientation.

* Available to Insiders only

Punctuation Conventions

Comma with Adverbials    Consider inserting a comma with adverbials. Consider using a comma to set off an adverb or adverbial phrase. Example: In recent years the technology has improved. would be corrected to In recent years, the technology has improved. Example: The waiter spilled food on a child; naturally the family was mad. would be corrected to The waiter spilled food on a child; naturally, the family was mad.

Oxford Comma    Consider using the Oxford comma. When listing items, you can avoid confusion by using a comma before the second-to-last item. Whether you choose to use the Oxford comma or not, always be consistent. Example: We sell books, videos and magazines. would be corrected to We sell books, videos, and magazines. Example: The red, yellow and green peppers are fresh. would be corrected to The red, yellow, and green peppers are fresh.

Punctuation Required with Quotes    Change quotation mark placement. Quotation marks can be placed inside or outside of punctuation marks. Position them consistently to improve readability. Example: He told me, "I like eggs". would be corrected to He told me, "I like eggs." Example: The woman said, "I just got home." would be corrected to The woman said, "I just got home".

Space between Sentences    Change number of spaces between sentences. Use the same number of spaces between all sentences to improve readability. Choose either one or two spaces, then be consistent. One space: Example: We came. We saw. We conquered. would be corrected to We came. We saw. We conquered. Two spaces: Example: We like comedy movies. However, he likes romances. would be corrected to We like comedy movies. However, he likes romances.

Unnecessary Comma    Consider removing unnecessary comma. When a dependent clause with a subordinating conjunction follows the main clause, it should not be separated by a comma unless necessary for clarity. Example: You should send them a brief note, if you want to be polite. would be corrected to You should send them a brief note if you want to be polite. Example: She went quiet, as soon as she saw the footage. would be corrected to She went quiet as soon as she saw the footage.

Vocabulary

Clichés    Consider avoiding overused expressions. To keep readers engaged, consider avoiding words and phrases that are overused and predictable. Example: Today the hard drive on my old computer bit the dust. would be corrected to Today the hard drive on my old computer died. Example: I felt dreadful and was sick as a dog. would be corrected to I felt dreadful and was sick.

Vague Adjectives    Consider using more descriptive adjectives. Replacing overused adjectives with more specific ones can convey your message more descriptively. Example: Do not drive in bad conditions! would be corrected to Do not drive in harsh conditions! OR Do not drive in adverse conditions! Example: What actor played the main role? would be corrected to What actor played the key role? OR What actor played the leading role?

Vague or Unnecessary Adverbs    Consider replacing or removing adverbs. Replacing a vague or overused adverb can improve descriptiveness. Removing the adverb can increase clarity. Example: He blindly endangered millions. would be corrected to He recklessly endangered millions. OR He endangered millions. Example: They badly punish us. would be corrected to They severely punish us. OR They punish us.

Weak Verbs    Consider using a more expressive verb. Avoid verbs that are overused or imprecise. Replace with verbs that are precise and enhance clarity and expressiveness. Example: She teaches our children. would be corrected to She instructs our children. OR She tutors our children.

* Collective Nouns    Consider using a more descriptive collective noun. Some collective nouns are imprecise. Consider a more expressive collective noun. Example: He walked alongside the cluster of lions. would be corrected to He walked alongside the pride of lions. Example: We can see collections of oysters. would be corrected to We can see beds of oysters.

* Locale-Specific Words    Consider using more regionally standard words.

  • Certain words and phrases are rarely used in Australia; others have meanings that only exist in other English-speaking areas. Consider using terms more likely to be understood by their intended audience. Example: Check the hood of your car for damage. would be corrected to Check the bonnet of your car for damage. Example: He repairs windshields at a discount. would be corrected to He repairs windscreens at a discount.

  • Certain words and phrases are rarely used in Canada; others have meanings that only exist in other English-speaking areas. Consider using terms more likely to be understood by their intended audience. Example: It depends on how far the fire station is. would be corrected to It depends on how far the fire hall is. Example: See if there are any spots left in the parking garage. would be corrected to See if there are any spots left in the parkade.

  • Certain words and phrases are rarely used in the United Kingdom; others have meanings that only exist in other English-speaking areas. Consider using terms more likely to be understood by their intended audience. Example: When do you have to take the exam? would be corrected to When do you have to sit the exam? Example: For how long have you worn bangs? would be corrected to For how long have you worn a fringe?

  • Certain words and phrases are rarely used in the United States; others have meanings that only exist in other English-speaking areas. Consider using terms more likely to be understood by their intended audience. Example: Take that lift to the fourth floor. would be corrected to Take that elevator to the fourth floor. Example: Would you fancy a snack? would be corrected to Would you like a snack? OR Would you enjoy a snack?

* Profanity    Consider substituting or removing profanity. Profanity may be considered offensive. Consider removing it or substituting more appropriate language. Example: He is a surprisingly shitty friend. would be corrected to He is a surprisingly horrible friend. Example: That movie was fucking amazing! would be corrected to That movie was amazing.

* Region-Specific Words    Consider using more regionally standard words. Words that are specific to certain regions of the US should be avoided in most cases. More widely used, better-known words should be used instead to avoid any confusion. Example: They will drink from a bubbler. would be corrected to They will drink from a water fountain. OR They will drink from a drinking fountain. Example: They had a tag sale on Walnut Street. would be corrected to They had a garage sale on Walnut Street. OR They had a yard sale on Walnut Street.

* Available to Insiders only

Resume

Avoid First Person References    Consider removing first person references. First person references in a resume may be considered redundant. Removing them strengthens the focus on your accomplishments. Example: I have a successful record of accomplishment. would be corrected to Have a successful record of accomplishment. Example: I am the treasurer and webmaster. would be corrected to Treasurer and webmaster.

Superfluous Expressions    Consider removing superfluous expressions. Removing buzzwords and redundancies can make your resume more concise and memorable. Example: Responsibilities: Drafting articles on various subjects, editing monthly newsletter. would be corrected to Drafting articles on various subjects, editing monthly newsletter. Example: Recycling project tasks include creating informational and communication materials for construction recycling. would be corrected to Recycling project: creating informational and communication materials for construction recycling.

Unsuitable Expressions    Consider replacing overused expressions. Replacing overused expressions can make your resume more specific and original. Example: A reliable person with practical approach to work. would be corrected to A dependable person with practical approach to work. Example: Quick learner; motivated to quickly resolve challenges. would be corrected to Adaptive learner; motivated to quickly resolve challenges.

Vague Quantifiers    Consider using a specific number or example. Replacing imprecise quantifiers with more specific ones can convey your message more descriptively and improve your resume. Example: Developed numerous database applications to automate data conversion tasks. would be corrected to Developed 18 database applications to automate data conversion tasks. Example: Coordinated case management for many residents. would be corrected to Coordinated case management for 25 residents.

Vague Verbs    Consider using more descriptive verbs. Using clear and concise verbs can make your resume more powerful and expressive. Example: Led a 40-person team and carried out research. would be corrected to Led a 40-person team and conducted research. Example: Worked alongside other engineers in developing new navigation systems. would be corrected to Collaborated with other engineers in developing new navigation systems.

Sensitive Geopolitical References

* Geopolitical References    Consider avoiding incorrect or offensive place names. Using incorrect names for geopolitical entities can be confusing and sometimes offensive. Replace such terms with their correct official names. Example: The Republic of Canada was beautiful in the summer. would be corrected to Canada was beautiful in the summer. Example: She visited the Near East on holiday. would be corrected to She visited the Middle East on holiday.

  • Consider avoiding politically charged place names. Regions subject to political dispute may have multiple names. Use the most neutral name unless discussing the political issue or targeting a specific audience subset. Example: The East Sea in Japan is cold. would be corrected to The Sea of Japan (East Sea) in Japan is cold. Example: We love visiting the Tunb in July. would be corrected to We love visiting the Tunb Islands in July.

  • Consider geopolitical terms less likely to suggest bias. Some terms may imply positive or negative bias towards geopolitical entities or peoples. Consider replacing them unless the context is a neutral discussion of the terms. Example: They collect figurines from the Orient. would be corrected to They collect figurines from East Asia. OR They collect figurines from Asia.

  • Consider replacing "dialect" with a more neutral term. Avoid implying that a distinct language is simply a dialect of another or that a language variety is inferior to the standard. Example: They spoke Catalan and other Spanish dialects. would be corrected to They spoke Catalan and other minority languages of Spain. OR They spoke Catalan and other regional languages of Spain. OR They spoke Catalan and other languages of Spain.

  • Consider replacing obsolete geopolitical terms. Terms for currencies, geographic features, and groups of people often change. Use modern terms except in historical contexts. Example: The Czechoslovak koruna was in use in 2010. would be corrected to The Czech koruna was in use in 2010. OR The Euro was in use in 2010. Example: We love visiting Lake Idi Amin in the summer. would be corrected to We love visiting Lake Edward in the summer.

  • Consider replacing outdated city/region/country names. Some cities, regions, and countries have had official name changes or have common alternative names. Use official modern names except in historical contexts. Example: Leningrad is warm in August. would be corrected to St. Petersburg is warm in August. Example: The company is opening a new office in Pressburg. would be corrected to The company is opening a new office in Bratislava.

  • Consider replacing sensitive technological terms. Avoid technological terms that evoke geopolitical or humanitarian issues. Example: The slave database network connection was poor. would be corrected to The secondary device database network connection was poor. OR The detail database network connection was poor. Example: There was no network in the demilitarized zone. would be corrected to There was no network in the perimeter network.

  • Consider using a modern transliteration. Some place names have English transliterations that have changed over time, and use of the old names is considered unacceptable for political or other reasons. Use the official modern name except in direct quotations. Example: The company is opening a new office in Chungking. would be corrected to The company is opening a new office in Chongqing.

  • Consider using place name appropriate to date context. Names of geopolitical entities that no longer exist should be limited to appropriate historical contexts. Use current names to refer to the geopolitical entities in these geographic locations in modern contexts. Example: The GDR is beautiful in the summer. would be corrected to Eastern Germany is beautiful in the summer.

  • Consider using preferred names for languages. Use official language names to avoid confusion, sensitivity, or offense. Example: He learned to speak Farsi in grade school. would be corrected to He learned to speak Persian in grade school. Example: We thought being fluent in standard Spanish would be fun. would be corrected to We thought being fluent in European Spanish would be fun. OR We thought being fluent in Spanish would be fun.

  • Consider verifying this term refers to what you intend. The region or entity that a name refers to may change over time due to political or sociocultural shifts. Ensure that in modern convention the term you have used refers to the place or entity you mean. Example: In 1963, Akmolinsk was famous for its prosperity. would be corrected to In 1963, Tselinograd was famous for its prosperity.

* Available to Insiders only

To restore the settings to their default states, in the Grammar Settings dialog box, select Reset All.

If you have feedback or suggestions about the editor proofing features, please post them here.

See also

Check spelling and grammar in Office

This article explains the grammar and writing style options that you can choose in Word for Mac.

Note: When accessing the Word > Preferences > Spelling & Grammar> Writing Style menu option, Grammar & Style is missing. Grammar & Style option is replaced by Grammar & Refinements for Mac.. The style options and Grammar & Refinements for Mac settings are available only if you haveOffice 365 Subscription

For general information about checking spelling and grammar, see Check spelling and grammar in Office for Mac, and for information about setting spelling, grammar, and AutoCorrect options, see Choose how spell check and grammar check work in Word for Mac.

Note: If you are choosing options for text that's written in a language other than your language version of Word, the options might vary.

  1. Go to Word > Preferences.

  2. In Word Preferences, select Spelling & Grammar.

    Click Spelling & Grammar to change settings for checking spelling and grammar.
  3. The Writing style has two options Grammar and Grammar & Refinements for Mac.. You can choose either option depending on which settings you want apply to your document.

    Tip: By default the writing style option is set to Grammar & Refinements for Mac. and have Wordiness and Nominalizations style options selected.

  4. Choose Settings.

    Word displays the Grammar Settings dialog box, where you can select or clear the categories of issues that Word checks for.

    In Grammar Settings, select the categories of issues that Word checks for.

Spacing

Add space after punctuation    Use at least one space after most punctuation. Do not insert a space after an opening parenthesis or an opening bracket. Example: Take these charts,reports, and memos. would be corrected to Take these charts, reports, and memos. Example: He did not get a grade;he plagiarized the paper. would be corrected to He did not get a grade; he plagiarized the paper.

Add space before punctuation    Place most punctuation directly after the preceding word. Place a space directly before an opening punctuation such as opening parenthesis or an opening bracket. Example: The memo said the picnic(employees only) would be this afternoon. would be corrected to The memo said the picnic (employees only) would be this afternoon.

Change punctuation placement     Place most punctuation directly after the preceding word. Place a space before an opening parenthesis or bracket. Example: Everybody wants parking, better food ,and flexible hours. would be corrected to Everybody wants parking, better food, and flexible hours. Example: The picnic (employees only )was fun. would be corrected to The picnic (employees only) was fun.

Change spacing after punctuation    Use at least one space after most punctuation. It is incorrect to insert a space after an opening parenthesis or an opening bracket. Example: He did not get a good grade on his ( mostly plagiarized) paper. would be corrected to He did not get a good grade on his (mostly plagiarized) paper.

Change spacing before punctuation   Place most punctuation directly after the preceding word. Commas, full stops, and other punctuation should not be preceded by white space. Example: You know , I still have not seen the photos. would be corrected to You know, I still have not seen the photos. Example: The wedding (family only ) will be simple. would be corrected to The wedding (family only) will be simple.

Remove extra space between words    Usually, words in a sentence should have only one space between them. Example: The line was extra long. would be corrected to The line was extra long. Example: She laughed all the way to the bank. would be corrected to She laughed all the way to the bank.

Punctuation

Add a question mark    Place a question mark at the end of any sentence that asks a question (interrogative sentence). Example: Who is the woman in the black coat. would be corrected to Who is the woman in the black coat?

Change quotation mark placement    Quotation marks can be placed inside or outside of punctuation marks. Position them consistently to improve readability. Punctuation inside quotation marks. Example: He told me, "I dislike eggs". would be corrected to He told me, "I dislike eggs."

Punctuation outside quotation marks: Example: The woman said, "I just got home." would be corrected to The woman said, "I just got home".

Remove redundant punctuation mark     You may have an unnecessary or misplaced punctuation mark. Example: We won the tournament!. would be corrected to We won the tournament! OR We won the tournament.

Grammar

Academic Degrees    Change degree format. Capitalize names of specific degrees. Degree types should be lowercase and, for some types, possessive. Doctorate is a degree type, while Doctor is used in a degree name. Example: She earned her Bachelor degree. would be corrected to She earned her bachelor's degree. Example: She earned her doctorate of philosophy. would be corrected to She earned her Doctor of Philosophy.

Adjective Used Instead of Adverb    Change adjective to adverb. Use the adverb form (typically ending in -ly) to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Example: She said, “Will you be real careful not to spill your coffee?” would be corrected to She said, “Will you be really careful not to spill your coffee?” Example: No one took him serious. would be corrected to No one took him seriously.

Adverb Used Instead of Adjective    Change adverb to adjective, Adjectives and not adverbs are used to modify nouns. Example: Then we need to be sure that you have the exactly requirement satisfied. would be corrected to Then we need to be sure that you have the exact requirement satisfied. Example: A recently case was related to Jane. would be corrected to A recent case was related to Jane.

Agreement with Noun Phrases     Resolve disagreement within noun phrase. The words within a single noun phrase must agree in number. Example: She would like to buy this apples. would be corrected to She would like to buy this apple. OR She would like to buy these apples. Example: We already have two sweet puppy. would be corrected to We already have two sweet puppies.

Capitalization    Change capitalization. Articles (e.g., the, an), short prepositions (e.g., in, to), and conjunctions (e.g., and, if) should be in lowercase in titles. Capitalize the first word in a title. Commas are typically followed by lowercase words. Example: We read Of Mice And Men. would be corrected to We read Of Mice and Men. Example: It is cold, But we are going. would be corrected to It is cold, but we are going.

Capitalization of March and May    Change capitalization of months. The months "March" and "May" should always be capitalized. The verbs "march" and "may" are not capitalized. Example: Camping in may can be an enjoyable experience. would be corrected to Camping in May can be an enjoyable experience. Example: They have not gone on vacation since march this year. would be corrected to They have not gone on vacation since March this year.

Comma After Greetings    Add a comma after greetings. When starting a sentence with a greeting, insert a comma after your greeting phrase. Example: Dear Sir or Madam I read your letter, and I like your suggestions. would be corrected to Dear Sir or Madam, I read your letter, and I like your suggestions. Example: Hello there are you enjoying your stay? would be corrected to Hello there, are you enjoying your stay?

Comma Before Quotations    Add a comma before quotations. Insert a comma before quotes longer than a single word. Example: He responded “Will the party be tomorrow night?” would be corrected to He responded, “Will the party be tomorrow night?” Example: The visitor said “Is this a restricted area?” would be corrected to The visitor said, “Is this a restricted area?”

Comma Missing After Introductory Phrases     Add comma after introductory element. If your sentence begins with an introductory word or phrase, such as "however" or "for example", insert a comma before the following independent clause. Example: Thanks he will try it tomorrow. would be corrected to Thanks, he will try it tomorrow. Example: When I ordered the fish it was good. would be corrected to When I ordered the fish, it was good.

Comma Splice    Change comma to semicolon. To join two related but independent clauses without a coordinating conjunction such as "and" or "but", use a semicolon instead of a comma. Example: We do not have a discussion board, the website is not big enough for one yet. would be corrected to We do not have a discussion board; the website is not big enough for one yet.

Comma with Conjunctive Adverbs    Add comma with conjunctive adverb. An adverb that joins clauses, or that introduces, interrupts, or concludes a clause, typically requires one or more commas. Example: They, nevertheless wished the whole ordeal would end. would be corrected to They, nevertheless, wished the whole ordeal would end. Example: Make sure you do not waste your time however. would be corrected to Make sure you do not waste your time, however.

Comma with Conjunction    Remove comma with conjunction. When a dependent clause with a coordinating conjunction follows the main clause, it should not be separated by a comma. Example: The dog went to the park, and learned how to play fetch. would be corrected to The dog went to the park and learned how to play fetch.

Commas around Descriptive Clause    Add commas around descriptive clauses. Descriptive clauses should be surrounded by commas. Example: The building, known as the science building is the oldest on campus. would be corrected to The building, known as the science building, is the oldest on campus. Example: The farm which was once a field is all dried out again. would be corrected to The farm, which was once a field, is all dried out again.

Commonly Confused Phrases    Change word used in common phrases. Some words are commonly used in combination with each other. You may have used a different preposition, helping verb, or other word than expected. Example: I do not see TV. would be corrected to I do not watch TV. Example: You should tell to him what you think. would be corrected to You should tell him what you think.

Commonly Confused Words    Change commonly confused word. Pay special attention to words that may sound or look similar and may have related meanings. They often have different parts of speech (word classes) and different spellings. Example: The man who's keys are in the ignition is here. would be corrected to The man whose keys are in the ignition is here. Example: They are late form time to time. would be corrected to They are late from time to time. Example: He is seeing other boy growing older. would be corrected to He is seeing another boy growing older. Example: They went round the city asking for her. would be corrected to They went around the city asking for her.

Comparative Use    Change comparative form. Use "more" and "most" with adjectives with no comparative form, but not with adjectives that have one. Do not use comparative or superlative forms with "less" or "least". Example: Spot is the less nicer of the two dogs. would be corrected to Spot is the less nice of the two dogs. Example: She is the most smart girl in her class. would be corrected to She is the smartest girl in her class.

Correlative Conjunction Mismatch    Change correlative conjunction mismatch. Correlative conjunctions must occur in corresponding pairs. Example: Food is available both in restaurants or in private homes. would be corrected to Food is available both in restaurants and in private homes. Example: He found it hard to photograph either the food nor the restaurant. would be corrected to He found it hard to photograph either the food or the restaurant.

Date Formatting    Change punctuation in date. When writing dates, commas should separate day of the week from month (e.g., "Monday, October 4") and day from year (e.g., "October 4, 1976"), but not month from year (e.g., "October 1976"). Example: She went to Paris on June 4 1986. would be corrected to She went to Paris on June 4, 1986. Example: It starts in October, 2016. would be corrected to It starts in October 2016.

Embarrassing Words    Check possible embarrassingly misspelled word. If misspelled, replace an embarrassing word with the appropriate word for the context. Example: The agency specialized in erotic travel. would be corrected to The agency specialized in exotic travel. Example: The burger patties were anus beef. would be corrected to The burger patties were Angus beef.

Hyphenation    Add a hyphen. When modifying a noun with more than one word, use a hyphen to link the modifying words. Also hyphenate the numerals "twenty-one" through "ninety-nine". Example: Our five year old son is learning to read. would be corrected to Our five-year-old son is learning to read. Example: There are fifty two cards in a deck. would be corrected to There are fifty-two cards in a deck.

Incorrect Auxiliary    Change auxiliary or verb form. Auxiliaries may be followed only by certain verb forms. Ensure that the auxiliary you use is the correct one for the verb that follows. Example: We are not taken them to the movies before. would be corrected to We have not taken them to the movies before. Example: That is cost us too much money. would be corrected to That has cost us too much money.

Incorrect Negation    Change negation Ensure that you have used the correct words and word order for negation. Example: That is no enough. would be corrected That is not enough. Example: The cat not is happy. would be corrected to The cat is not happy.

Incorrect Pronoun Case    Change pronoun case. The form of a personal pronoun is dictated by its function in a sentence. Use nominative pronouns (I, he, she, we, they) for subjects and accusative pronouns (me, him, her, us, them) for objects. Example: They pointed to he. would be corrected to They pointed to him. Example: Mother and me watched TV. would be corrected to Mother and I watched TV.

Incorrect Reflexive Pronoun Use    Change reflexive pronoun form. A reflexive pronoun is used to refer to another mentioned noun or pronoun. When the referent is not mentioned, use a non-reflexive form. Example: Yourself and the team must do what you can. would be corrected to You and the team must do what you can. Example: Please return the form to myself. would be corrected to Please return the form to me.

Incorrect Use of "That"    Resolve incorrect usage of "that" In relative clauses beginning with a comma, "that" should never be used. Example: His old guitar, that was of unknown make, would be harder to sell. would be corrected to His old guitar, which was of unknown make, would be harder to sell. Example: We brought our dog, that was fantastic. would be corrected to We brought our dog, which was fantastic. OR We brought our dog, who was fantastic.

Incorrect Verb Form     Change -ing verb form. Combining two verbs ending with -ing is usually incorrect. Typically, an -ing verb should be followed by a past participle or a to-infinitive (to + verb). Example: Having misunderstanding the directions, she failed. would be corrected to Having misunderstood the directions, she failed. Example: We will be getting seeing my family. would be corrected to We will be getting to see my family.

Incorrect Verb Form after Auxiliary    Change verb form after auxiliary. Use the correct verb form after an auxiliary verb (a verb that expresses mood, tense, etc.). Example: The candidate is tells the truth. would be corrected to The candidate is telling the truth. Example: They had ate when we came. would be corrected to They had eaten when we came. Example: Did she forgot it? would be corrected to Did she forget it? Example: He would not travels alone. would be corrected to He would not travel alone.

Indefinite Article    Change indefinite article (a or an). Use "a" before a word beginning with a consonant sound. Use "an" before a word beginning with a vowel sound. Example: This is an problem. would be corrected to This is a problem. Example: An tear slowly ran down her face. would be corrected to A tear slowly ran down her face.

Indirect Questions    Change word order in indirect question. When using an indirect question, the auxiliary verb should not precede the subject. Example: They wonder how could have the architect created it. would be corrected to They wonder how the architect could have created it. Example: He asked what time could it start raining. would be corrected to He asked what time it could start raining.

Misheard Phrases    Change commonly misheard phrase. Some idioms and other phrases are commonly misunderstood as containing different words. Example: The patient had old-timer's disease. would be corrected to The patient had Alzheimer's disease. Example: The monster reeled its ugly head. would be corrected to The monster reared its ugly head.

Missing Comma    Add a comma with conjunction. When an independent clause is followed by a coordinating conjunction and another independent clause, insert a comma before the coordinating conjunction. Example: The goats ate the grass but the herder had nothing to eat. would be corrected to The goats ate the grass, but the herder had nothing to eat.

Possessives and Plural Forms    Change form of the noun or pronoun. Possessive nouns must have an apostrophe. Possessive pronouns must not: "its" is possessive, while "it's" always means "it is". Example: The average mouse can stray 25 feet from it's nest. would be corrected to The average mouse can stray 25 feet from its nest. Example: He hopes your believe him. would be corrected to He hopes you believe him.

Punctuation     Add or remove a comma. Commas are used between certain clauses, with some phrases, and with direct address. A comma is usually not needed after a coordinating conjunction. Example: If I am tired I will sleep. would be corrected to If I am tired, I will sleep. Example: Thanks Mom for the gift. would be corrected to Thanks, Mom, for the gift.

Question Mark Missing    Add a question mark. Place a question mark at the end of any sentence that asks a question (interrogative sentence). Example: Who is the woman in the black coat. would be corrected to Who is the woman in the black coat?

Redundant Colon    Remove unnecessary colon. Colons should only be used in specific contexts. Removing unnecessary colons will help improve readability. Example: She is: kind, smart, and helpful. would be corrected to She is kind, smart, and helpful. Example: Mom told you we: went to the mall yesterday and got ice cream. would be corrected to Mom told you we went to the mall yesterday and got ice cream.

Redundant Comma Following Subject    Remove comma between subject and verb. With few exceptions, a comma should never separate a verb from its subject. Example: His neighbor John, is a lawyer. would be corrected to His neighbor John is a lawyer. Example: Max, was part of a panel discussion. would be corrected to Max was part of a panel discussion.

Redundant Question Mark    End statement with full stop. A question mark in a declarative sentence may indicate uncertainty and should be replaced with a full stop to indicate an assertion. Example: She made sure to finish her test on time? would be corrected to She made sure to finish her test on time. Example: He will take out the trash? would be corrected to He will take out the trash.

Repeated Auxiliary    Remove duplicated auxiliary. An auxiliary should not be used both before and after an adverb, nor should an auxiliary + verb or adverb sequence be repeated. Example: You should also should keep track of time. would be corrected to You should also keep track of time. Example: The power adapter will be will be hot. would be corrected to The power adapter will be hot.

Subject-Verb Agreement    Resolve subject-verb disagreement. The subject and verb should agree in number. They should both be singular (one), or they should both be plural (more than one). Example: The teacher want to see him. would be corrected to The teacher wants to see him. Example: Their apologies was sincere. would be corrected to Their apologies were sincere.

Too Many Determiners    Remove redundant determiner. Certain determiners, such as articles (e.g., a, the), possessive pronouns (e.g., my, our), and demonstratives (e.g., this, those), may not be combined. Example: She gave you a the carrot. would be corrected to She gave you the carrot. Example: Have you seen their these pictures yet? would be corrected to Have you seen these pictures yet?

Unnecessary Hyphen    Remove the unnecessary hyphen. Hyphens are only needed to combine elements in certain contexts. Example: It was a strongly-held belief. would be corrected to It was a strongly held belief. Example: The market for real-estate is strong. would be corrected to The market for real estate is strong.

Use of Plain Verb Form    Change plain verb form. A plain verb form generally cannot follow prepositions, adjectives, or main verbs. After most prepositions and adjectives, add -ing to the verb. Following a main verb, use “to” + verb or add -ing. Example: We would like invite you. would be corrected to We would like to invite you. Example: Thank you for help me. would be corrected to Thank you for helping me.

Use of the Word "Lack"    Remove "of" after the verb "lack". The use of "lack" as a noun is usually followed by the preposition "of" (e.g. "a lack of sleep"). As a verb, "lack" should not be followed by any preposition. Example: The country was lacking of qualified medical staff. would be corrected to The country was lacking qualified medical staff.

Use of "Will" and "Would"    Remove auxiliary verb. When referring to an imagined or desired situation, use a verb in the subjunctive mood. The auxiliaries "will" and "would" do not accompany subjunctive verbs. Example: He asks that you will join him. would be corrected to He asks that you join him. Example: She had to go home lest her family would worry about her. would be corrected to She had to go home lest her family worry about her.

Verb Use    Change "of" to "have" after modal verbs. Use "have" rather than "of" in constructions with modal auxiliaries such as could, can't, may, and will (i.e., verbs that express likelihood, ability, permission, or obligation). Example: He could of known that. would be corrected to He could have known that.

Word Split    Join word parts. Prefixes, suffixes, combining forms, and some compounds should not be separated. Example: That is bio degradable. would be corrected to That is biodegradable. Example: The book store is open. would be corrected to The bookstore is open.

* "An" "And" Confusion    Change "an" to "and" Sometimes "an" is used mistakenly in place of "and". Example: Make sure you listen to your teacher an her. would be corrected to Make sure you listen to your teacher and her. Example: The player had caught an thrown the ball. would be corrected to The player had caught and thrown the ball.

* Capitalization of Personal Titles    Capitalize personal and familial titles. Capitalize certain family relationships and personal titles immediately before a name when used to refer directly to the person. Example: She and grandma Joan arrive today. would be corrected to She and Grandma Joan arrive today. Example: It is a possibility highlighted by president Ricardo Lagos earlier this year. would be corrected to It is a possibility highlighted by President Ricardo Lagos earlier this year.

* Comma after Conjunction    Remove comma after conjunction. A comma after a conjunction is generally not needed unless an intervening phrase immediately follows. Example: Because, we need to act quickly, we will meet now. would be corrected to Because we need to act quickly, we will meet now. Example: The dog loved food, and, everyone loved the dog. would be corrected to The dog loved food, and everyone loved the dog.

* Incorrect Determiner    Change determiner. The definite article "the" indicates a specific reference. The indefinite article "a"/"an" allows nonspecific reference. Certain determiners are used only before countable nouns. Others only occur before uncountable nouns. Example: He is a fastest man of all. would be corrected to He is the fastest man of all. Example: There are much people. would be corrected to There are many people.

* Incorrect Number Ending    Change number ending. Particular endings must follow certain numbers. Ensure that the ending is correct for the number. Example: He finished in 1rd place. would be corrected to He finished in 1st place. Example: Today is November 22th. would be corrected to Today is November 22nd.

* Modal Confusion    Revise modal usage. When needed, modals should occur in the correct tense. They express negation without use of another auxiliary, and most do not require the infinitive marker "to". Example: We will shovel if it had snowed. would be corrected to We would shovel if it had snowed. Example: The dog should to be good. would be corrected to The dog should be good.

* Multiple Modals    Remove extra modal. Certain sets of modal verbs cannot be used together. Example: Please explain what should can happen. would be corrected to Please explain what should happen. OR Please explain what can happen. Example: They would might never know. would be corrected to They would never know. OR They might never know.

* Redundant Comma before Complement Clause    Remove comma between verb and clause. Typically, a comma should not separate a verb from the clause it introduces. Example: Her mother said, that Annabelle and Alex were moving into an apartment together. would be corrected to Her mother said that Annabelle and Alex were moving into an apartment together. Example: Her teacher decided, whether I should consult a doctor. would be corrected to Her teacher decided whether I should consult a doctor.

* Redundant Comma before Object    Remove comma between verb and object. With few exceptions, a comma should never separate a verb from its direct object. Example: The list included, the book. would be corrected to The list included the book. Example: The problem is, his unpredictable schedule. would be corrected to The problem is his unpredictable schedule.

* Semicolon Use    Revise semicolon usage. Semicolons mainly serve to join two independent clauses without a coordinating conjunction or to separate items in a complex list. Example: Prizes include; cash, cars, and boats. would be corrected to Prizes include cash, cars, and boats. Example: He wanted to swim; however; it was cold. would be corrected to He wanted to swim; however, it was cold.

* "Which" "Who" Confusion    Change "which" to "who". Use "who" with a noun referring to a human and "which" for non-human nouns. Example: We need assurance that the hikers, which disappeared on Friday, are safe. would be corrected to We need assurance that the hikers, who disappeared on Friday, are safe. Example: This is the surgeon which will take your vitals today. would be corrected to This is the surgeon who will take your vitals today.

* "Who" "Whom" Confusion    Change "who" or "whom". Use "who" or "whoever" for the subject of a clause. For the object of a verb or preposition, use "whom" or "whomever". Example: He knows that whomever goes will love it. would be corrected to He knows that whoever goes will love it. Example: To who did you speak? would be corrected to To whom did you speak?

* Available to Insiders only

Clarity

Adverb Placement    Consider moving the adverb. When an adverb is between a verb and its object, consider moving it. Example: They sing loudly a new song. would be corrected to They loudly sing a new song. Example: He owes now ten dollars to my classmate. would be corrected to Now he owes ten dollars to my classmate.

Complex words     Consider using a simple word. Use simple words wherever possible to present a clear message in an approachable tone. Example: The magnitude of the problem is overwhelming. would be corrected to The size of the problem is overwhelming. Example: The boy will transmit the message. would be corrected to The boy will send the message.

Double Negation    Consider avoiding double negation. The use of two negative words may be interpreted as indicating a positive. To avoid confusion, do not use double negation. Example: I did not see nothing. would be corrected to I did not see anything. Example: He did not go nowhere. would be corrected to He did not go anywhere.

Incorrect Use of "That"    Resolve incorrect usage of "that". In relative clauses beginning with a comma, "that" should never be used. Example: His old guitar, that was of unknown make, would be harder to sell. would be corrected to His old guitar, which was of unknown make, would be harder to sell. Example: We brought our dog, that was fantastic. would be corrected to We brought our dog, which was fantastic. OR We brought our dog, who was fantastic.

Jargon    Consider avoiding jargon. Jargon, technical terminology, or abbreviations may confuse readers. Consider using more common language that is likely to be understood. Example: They hired a well-known headhunting firm. would be corrected to They hired a well-known recruiting firm. Example: Please see the accompanying letters. would be corrected to Please see the enclosed letters. OR Please see the attached letters.

Passive voice with Known Actor    Consider using active voice. Active voice is more concise and helps avoid possible confusion. Example: The dog was seen by the man. would be corrected to The man saw the dog. Example: They were quickly caught by the police. would be corrected to The police quickly caught them.

Passive Voice with Unknown Actor    Consider using active voice. Active voice is more concise and helps avoid possible confusion. Example: The house was built on a hill. would be corrected to They built the house on a hill. Example: The supplies were delivered on time. would be corrected to They delivered the supplies on time.

Use of Euphemisms    Consider avoiding euphemisms. Euphemisms (words or phrases that soften or "talk around" harsh truths) can make sentences unclear. Direct language is often better. Example: His neighbor kicked the bucket. would be corrected to His neighbor died. Example: My younger brother is a couch potato. would be corrected to My younger brother is a lazy person.

Sentence Structure    Consider rewording to keep a consistent subject. Using clauses that have the same subject can increase clarity and coherence. Example: Thinking like a scientist, it would be the best guess. would be corrected to Thinking like a scientist, I had decided it was my best guess. Example: As a doctor, costs are rising. would be corrected to As a doctor, you have rising costs.

Words in Split infinitives (more than one)    Consider avoiding split infinitives. Using multiple adverbs between "to" and a verb can create an awkward or unclear sentence. Consider avoiding this in formal writing. Example: They began to very quickly run home. would be corrected to They began to run home very quickly. Example: He tried to firmly but politely decline the offer. would be corrected to He tried to decline the offer firmly but politely.

* Adjective Order    Consider changing adjective order. When adjectives are used in sequence, there is an accepted order in which they should occur depending on the class of each adjective. Example: She still drove a blue old car for her commute. would be corrected to She still drove an old blue car for her commute. Example: They fashioned a cardboard oblong piece to fit. would be corrected to They fashioned an oblong cardboard piece to fit.

* Available to Insiders only

Conciseness

Conjunction Overuse    Consider using commas instead of conjunctions. Items in a list are better coordinated by commas than by multiple conjunctions. Example: Susan and Dale and Anthony eat lunch together. would be corrected to Susan, Dale, and Anthony eat lunch together. Example: Teachers are smart and professional and caring. would be corrected to Teachers are smart, professional, and caring.

Nominalizations    Consider using verbs instead of nouns. Nouns typically need extra words to introduce them, while verbs can be used more concisely. Consider using a verb instead of a longer phrase with a noun. Example: The trade union is holding negotiations with the employers. would be corrected to The trade union is negotiating with the employers. Example: Please make an effort to be on time. would be corrected to Please try to be on time.

Wordiness    Consider using concise language. Eliminating redundant or unnecessary words often improves readability. Example: Adding sugar is absolutely essential. would be corrected to Adding sugar is essential. Example: Her backpack was large in size. would be corrected to Her backpack was large.

Words Expressing Uncertainty    Consider removing words suggesting uncertainty. Avoid words that express uncertainty or lessen the impact of your statement. Example: The homework is basically ready. would be corrected to The homework is ready. Example: They felt adequately prepared for the disaster. would be corrected to They felt prepared for the disaster.

Formality

Colloquial Verb Phrase    Consider using a more formal verb. Informal verbs and verb phrases are most appropriate for familiar, conversational settings. Example: We should hang out more often. would be corrected to We should spend time together more often. Example: Please get in touch with my supervisor. would be corrected to Please contact my supervisor.

Contractions    Consider avoiding contractions. Contracted expressions (e.g., let's, we've, can't) should generally be avoided in formal writing. Example: Let's suppose we have three apples. would be corrected to Let us suppose we have three apples. Example: The animal won't be out of the bag during the flight. would be corrected to The animal will not be out of the bag during the flight.

Informal Language    Consider using formal language. Informal words and phrases are most appropriate for familiar, conversational settings. Example: Our atmosphere includes comfy massage chairs. would be corrected to Our atmosphere includes comfortable massage chairs. Example: The student must get to thinking. would be corrected to The student must start thinking.

Opinion Markers    Consider removing opinion markers. Favor objectivity and consider removing overt markers of opinion or uncertainty. Example: I feel we treated them unfairly. would be corrected to We treated them unfairly. Example: I believe it is correct. would be corrected to It is correct.

Slang    Consider avoiding slang. Slang terms may not be understood by a general audience and should be avoided in formal writing. Consider using more standard expressions. Example: The show was uber boring. would be corrected to The show was boring. Example: The cop pulled John over for speeding in a school zone. would be corrected to The police officer pulled John over for speeding in a school zone.

* Subjunctive Mood    Consider using subjunctive mood. When referring to an imagined or desired situation, consider using a verb in the subjunctive mood. The verb "be" has the subjunctive forms "be" (present) and "were" (past). Example: If he was your father, you would have never been able to go there. would be corrected to If he were your father, you would have never been able to go there. Example: She wishes she was going to the movie tonight. would be corrected to She wishes she were going to the movie tonight.

* Available to Insiders only

Inclusiveness

Ethnic Slurs    Consider using ethnically neutral language. Some terms may be considered inappropriate when used to describe an individual or group. Consider removing or replacing ethnically insensitive language. Example: They saw a fog-breather there. would be corrected to They saw a British person there. Example: Do not be so uppity about the issue. would be corrected to Do not be so self-important about the issue. OR Do not be so arrogant about the issue.

Gender-Specific Language    Consider using gender-neutral language. Gendered language may be perceived as excluding, dismissive, or stereotyping. Consider using gender-inclusive language. Example: We need more policemen to support public safety. would be corrected to We need more police officers to support public safety. Example: We met a male nurse at the hospital. would be corrected to We met a nurse at the hospital.

Mental Health Bias    Consider revising mental health or disability terms. Some terms may suggest negative attitudes or stereotypes related to psychiatric or developmental differences. Consider removing or changing language that may imply bias. Example: They hire retarded people. would be corrected to They hire people with cognitive disabilities. OR They hire people with intellectual disabilities. Example: The doctor suffers from autism. would be corrected to The doctor has autism.

* Age Bias    Consider language less likely to suggest age bias. Some expressions may draw undue attention to age or imply negative attributes due to a person's age. Consider removing unnecessary, negative, or condescending references to age. Example: For a man of his age, he does well. would be corrected to He does well. Example: She is a typical teenage girl. would be corrected to She is a girl. OR She is a typical girl.

* Cultural Bias    Consider using culturally neutral language. Some terms may imply cultural bias or negative stereotypes. Consider removing or replacing potentially biased or sensitive expressions. Example: The fuzz searched her house without a warrant after the chase ended. would be corrected to The police searched her house without a warrant after the chase ended. Example: The Afghani flag changed between the different leaders of Afghanistan. would be corrected to The Afghan flag changed between the different leaders of Afghanistan.

* Disability Bias    Consider language less likely to imply disability bias. Many terms referring to disability may be seen as excluding or offensive. Consider using people-first language, which emphasizes the person rather than the disability. Example: He met blind men. would be corrected to He met men with visual impairments. Example: Bob is a midget. would be corrected to Bob is a little person.

* Gender Bias    Consider language less likely to suggest gender bias. Some terms may suggest negative attitudes or stereotypes related to gender roles or a person’s gender identity or expression. Consider avoiding expressions that may imply bias. Example: She is smart, for a girl. would be corrected to She is smart. Example: He is empathetic, for a man. would be corrected to He is empathetic.

* Racial Bias    Consider unbiased language about ethnicity and origin. Some terms related to race, ethnicity, or national origin may be considered outdated or offensive. Consider removing or replacing language that may imply bias towards people from Europe or with European ancestry. Example: The bog Irish men arrived. would be corrected to The Irish men arrived.

  • Consider unbiased language about indigenous Americans. Some terms related to indigenous peoples of the Americas may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing these to avoid implying bias. Example: They traded with the red men. would be corrected to They traded with the Native Americans.

  • Consider unbiased language about origin. Some terms related to a person's national origin or immigrant status may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing these to avoid implying bias. Example: The migrant was fleeing the war. would be corrected to The refugee was fleeing the war. Example: The exotic woman wore a green dress. would be corrected to The unique woman wore a green dress. OR The beautiful woman wore a green dress.

  • Consider unbiased language about origin and religion. Some terms related to a person's race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing language that may imply bias towards people based on their country of origin, ancestry, or religion. Example: The Chinaman walked down the street. would be corrected to The Chinese person walked down the street. Example: It is a country with a high Moslem population. would be corrected to It is a country with a high Muslim population.

  • Consider using historically unbiased language. Some phrases related to the colonization of the Americas by Europeans may be considered marginalizing, excluding, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing these to avoid implying bias. Example: In 1492, Columbus sailed to the New World. would be corrected to In 1492, Columbus sailed to the North American continent.

  • Consider using racially unbiased language. Some terms related to a person's race, ethnicity, or national origin may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing language that may imply bias towards people from Africa or with African ancestry. Example: Few coloreds work at our company. would be corrected to Few people of color work at our company.

* Sexual Orientation Bias    Consider using unbiased language about orientation. Some terms related to a person's sexual orientation may be considered vague, outdated, or offensive. Consider removing or replacing these to avoid implying bias. Example: The homosexual couple ran a marathon. would be corrected to The same-sex couple ran a marathon. OR The couple ran a marathon. Example: She is open about her sexual preference. would be corrected to She is open about her sexual orientation.

* Available to Insiders only

Punctuation Conventions

Comma with Adverbials    Consider inserting a comma with adverbials. Consider using a comma to set off an adverb or adverbial phrase. Example: In recent years the technology has improved. would be corrected to In recent years, the technology has improved. Example: The waiter spilled food on a child; naturally the family was mad. would be corrected to The waiter spilled food on a child; naturally, the family was mad.

Oxford Comma    Consider using the Oxford comma. When listing items, you can avoid confusion by using a comma before the second-to-last item. Whether you choose to use the Oxford comma or not, always be consistent. Example: We sell books, videos and magazines. would be corrected to We sell books, videos, and magazines. Example: The red, yellow and green peppers are fresh. would be corrected to The red, yellow, and green peppers are fresh.

Punctuation Required with Quotes    Change quotation mark placement. Quotation marks can be placed inside or outside of punctuation marks. Position them consistently to improve readability. Example: He told me, "I like eggs". would be corrected to He told me, "I like eggs." Example: The woman said, "I just got home." would be corrected to The woman said, "I just got home".

Space between Sentences    Change number of spaces between sentences. Use the same number of spaces between all sentences to improve readability. Choose either one or two spaces, then be consistent. One space: Example: We came. We saw. We conquered. would be corrected to We came. We saw. We conquered. Two spaces: Example: We like comedy movies. However, he likes romances. would be corrected to We like comedy movies. However, he likes romances.

Unnecessary Comma    Consider removing unnecessary comma. When a dependent clause with a subordinating conjunction follows the main clause, it should not be separated by a comma unless necessary for clarity. Example: You should send them a brief note, if you want to be polite. would be corrected to You should send them a brief note if you want to be polite. Example: She went quiet, as soon as she saw the footage. would be corrected to She went quiet as soon as she saw the footage.

Vocabulary

Clichés    Consider avoiding overused expressions. To keep readers engaged, consider avoiding words and phrases that are overused and predictable. Example: Today the hard drive on my old computer bit the dust. would be corrected to Today the hard drive on my old computer died. Example: I felt dreadful and was sick as a dog. would be corrected to I felt dreadful and was sick.

Vague Adjectives    Consider using more descriptive adjectives. Replacing overused adjectives with more specific ones can convey your message more descriptively. Example: Do not drive in bad conditions! would be corrected to Do not drive in harsh conditions! OR Do not drive in adverse conditions! Example: What actor played the main role? would be corrected to What actor played the key role? OR What actor played the leading role?

Vague or Unnecessary Adverbs    Consider replacing or removing adverbs. Replacing a vague or overused adverb can improve descriptiveness. Removing the adverb can increase clarity. Example: He blindly endangered millions. would be corrected to He recklessly endangered millions. OR He endangered millions. Example: They badly punish us. would be corrected to They severely punish us. OR They punish us.

Weak Verbs    Consider using a more expressive verb. Avoid verbs that are overused or imprecise. Replace with verbs that are precise and enhance clarity and expressiveness. Example: She teaches our children. would be corrected to She instructs our children. OR She tutors our children.

* Collective Nouns    Consider using a more descriptive collective noun. Some collective nouns are imprecise. Consider a more expressive collective noun. Example: He walked alongside the cluster of lions. would be corrected to He walked alongside the pride of lions. Example: We can see collections of oysters. would be corrected to We can see beds of oysters.

* Locale-Specific Words    Consider using more regionally standard words.

  • Certain words and phrases are rarely used in Australia; others have meanings that only exist in other English-speaking areas. Consider using terms more likely to be understood by their intended audience. Example: Check the hood of your car for damage. would be corrected to Check the bonnet of your car for damage. Example: He repairs windshields at a discount. would be corrected to He repairs windscreens at a discount.

  • Certain words and phrases are rarely used in Canada; others have meanings that only exist in other English-speaking areas. Consider using terms more likely to be understood by their intended audience. Example: It depends on how far the fire station is. would be corrected to It depends on how far the fire hall is. Example: See if there are any spots left in the parking garage. would be corrected to See if there are any spots left in the parkade.

  • Certain words and phrases are rarely used in the United Kingdom; others have meanings that only exist in other English-speaking areas. Consider using terms more likely to be understood by their intended audience. Example: When do you have to take the exam? would be corrected to When do you have to sit the exam? Example: For how long have you worn bangs? would be corrected to For how long have you worn a fringe?

  • Certain words and phrases are rarely used in the United States; others have meanings that only exist in other English-speaking areas. Consider using terms more likely to be understood by their intended audience. Example: Take that lift to the fourth floor. would be corrected to Take that elevator to the fourth floor. Example: Would you fancy a snack? would be corrected to Would you like a snack? OR Would you enjoy a snack?

* Profanity    Consider substituting or removing profanity. Profanity may be considered offensive. Consider removing it or substituting more appropriate language. Example: He is a surprisingly shitty friend. would be corrected to He is a surprisingly horrible friend. Example: That movie was fucking amazing! would be corrected to That movie was amazing.

* Region-Specific Words    Consider using more regionally standard words. Words that are specific to certain regions of the US should be avoided in most cases. More widely used, better-known words should be used instead to avoid any confusion. Example: They will drink from a bubbler. would be corrected to They will drink from a water fountain. OR They will drink from a drinking fountain. Example: They had a tag sale on Walnut Street. would be corrected to They had a garage sale on Walnut Street. OR They had a yard sale on Walnut Street.

* Available to Insiders only

Resume

Avoid First Person References    Consider removing first person references. First person references in a resume may be considered redundant. Removing them strengthens the focus on your accomplishments. Example: I have a successful record of accomplishment. would be corrected to Have a successful record of accomplishment. Example: I am the treasurer and webmaster. would be corrected to Treasurer and webmaster.

Superfluous Expressions    Consider removing superfluous expressions. Removing buzzwords and redundancies can make your resume more concise and memorable. Example: Responsibilities: Drafting articles on various subjects, editing monthly newsletter. would be corrected to Drafting articles on various subjects, editing monthly newsletter. Example: Recycling project tasks include creating informational and communication materials for construction recycling. would be corrected to Recycling project: creating informational and communication materials for construction recycling.

Unsuitable Expressions    Consider replacing overused expressions. Replacing overused expressions can make your resume more specific and original. Example: A reliable person with practical approach to work. would be corrected to A dependable person with practical approach to work. Example: Quick learner; motivated to quickly resolve challenges. would be corrected to Adaptive learner; motivated to quickly resolve challenges.

Vague Quantifiers    Consider using a specific number or example. Replacing imprecise quantifiers with more specific ones can convey your message more descriptively and improve your resume. Example: Developed numerous database applications to automate data conversion tasks. would be corrected to Developed 18 database applications to automate data conversion tasks. Example: Coordinated case management for many residents. would be corrected to Coordinated case management for 25 residents.

Vague Verbs    Consider using more descriptive verbs. Using clear and concise verbs can make your resume more powerful and expressive. Example: Led a 40-person team and carried out research. would be corrected to Led a 40-person team and conducted research. Example: Worked alongside other engineers in developing new navigation systems. would be corrected to Collaborated with other engineers in developing new navigation systems.

Sensitive Geopolitical References

* Geopolitical References    Consider avoiding incorrect or offensive place names. Using incorrect names for geopolitical entities can be confusing and sometimes offensive. Replace such terms with their correct official names. Example: The Republic of Canada was beautiful in the summer. would be corrected to Canada was beautiful in the summer. Example: She visited the Near East on holiday. would be corrected to She visited the Middle East on holiday.

  • Consider avoiding politically charged place names. Regions subject to political dispute may have multiple names. Use the most neutral name unless discussing the political issue or targeting a specific audience subset. Example: The East Sea in Japan is cold. would be corrected to The Sea of Japan (East Sea) in Japan is cold. Example: We love visiting the Tunb in July. would be corrected to We love visiting the Tunb Islands in July.

  • Consider geopolitical terms less likely to suggest bias. Some terms may imply positive or negative bias towards geopolitical entities or peoples. Consider replacing them unless the context is a neutral discussion of the terms. Example: They collect figurines from the Orient. would be corrected to They collect figurines from East Asia. OR They collect figurines from Asia.

  • Consider replacing "dialect" with a more neutral term. Avoid implying that a distinct language is simply a dialect of another or that a language variety is inferior to the standard. Example: They spoke Catalan and other Spanish dialects. would be corrected to They spoke Catalan and other minority languages of Spain. OR They spoke Catalan and other regional languages of Spain. OR They spoke Catalan and other languages of Spain.

  • Consider replacing obsolete geopolitical terms. Terms for currencies, geographic features, and groups of people often change. Use modern terms except in historical contexts. Example: The Czechoslovak koruna was in use in 2010. would be corrected to The Czech koruna was in use in 2010. OR The Euro was in use in 2010. Example: We love visiting Lake Idi Amin in the summer. would be corrected to We love visiting Lake Edward in the summer.

  • Consider replacing outdated city/region/country names. Some cities, regions, and countries have had official name changes or have common alternative names. Use official modern names except in historical contexts. Example: Leningrad is warm in August. would be corrected to St. Petersburg is warm in August. Example: The company is opening a new office in Pressburg. would be corrected to The company is opening a new office in Bratislava.

  • Consider replacing sensitive technological terms. Avoid technological terms that evoke geopolitical or humanitarian issues. Example: The slave database network connection was poor. would be corrected to The secondary device database network connection was poor. OR The detail database network connection was poor. Example: There was no network in the demilitarized zone. would be corrected to There was no network in the perimeter network.

  • Consider using a modern transliteration. Some place names have English transliterations that have changed over time, and use of the old names is considered unacceptable for political or other reasons. Use the official modern name except in direct quotations. Example: The company is opening a new office in Chungking. would be corrected to The company is opening a new office in Chongqing.

  • Consider using place name appropriate to date context. Names of geopolitical entities that no longer exist should be limited to appropriate historical contexts. Use current names to refer to the geopolitical entities in these geographic locations in modern contexts. Example: The GDR is beautiful in the summer. would be corrected to Eastern Germany is beautiful in the summer.

  • Consider using preferred names for languages. Use official language names to avoid confusion, sensitivity, or offense. Example: He learned to speak Farsi in grade school. would be corrected to He learned to speak Persian in grade school. Example: We thought being fluent in standard Spanish would be fun. would be corrected to We thought being fluent in European Spanish would be fun. OR We thought being fluent in Spanish would be fun.

  • Consider verifying this term refers to what you intend. The region or entity that a name refers to may change over time due to political or sociocultural shifts. Ensure that in modern convention the term you have used refers to the place or entity you mean. Example: In 1963, Akmolinsk was famous for its prosperity. would be corrected to In 1963, Tselinograd was famous for its prosperity.

* Available to Insiders only

To restore the settings to their default states, in the Grammar Settings dialog box, select Reset All.

If you have feedback or suggestions about spelling and grammar features, please post them here.

See also

Choose how spell check and grammar check work in Word for Mac

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×