Select grammar and writing style options in Word 2016 for Mac

This article explains the grammar and writing style options that you can choose in Word 2016 for Mac.

For general information about checking spelling and grammar, see Check spelling and grammar in Office 2016 for Mac, and for information about setting spelling, grammar, and AutoCorrect options, see Choose how spell check and grammar check work in Word 2016 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. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. In Word Preferences, click Spelling & Grammar.

    Click Spelling & Grammar to change settings for checking spelling and grammar.
  3. Under Grammar, click Settings.

    In Spelling & Grammar, click Settings to select the categories of grammar issues that Word checks for.

    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

This option covers areas such as:

  • Missing space before punctuation    When one space is expected before a particular punctuation mark, but none is found, this rule suggests adding a space. Example: They were(about to leave) would be corrected to They were (about to leave). The set of punctuation marks for this option varies by language.

  • Unexpected space before punctuation    When no spaces are expected before a particular punctuation mark, but one is found, this rule suggests removing it. Example: Mary , still wondering about the photos would be corrected to Mary, still wondering about the photos. The set of punctuation marks for this option varies by language.

  • Unexpected space before and missing space after punctuation    When there is an unexpected space before a punctuation mark and a missing space after it, this rule suggests removing the unexpected space and suggests inserting the missing space. Example: Mary ,still wondering about the photos would be corrected to Mary, still wondering about the photos.

  • Missing space after punctuation    When a space is expected after a particular punctuation mark, but none is found, this rule suggests adding a space. Example: He was up all night,and asleep all day would be corrected to He was up all night, and asleep all day. The set of punctuation marks for this option varies by language.

  • Unexpected space after punctuation    When no spaces are expected after a particular punctuation mark, but one is found, this rule suggests removing it. Example: There are ( brackets) would be corrected to There are (brackets). The set of punctuation marks for this option varies by language.

  • Unexpected space between words    This rule detects two spaces between words of a sentence, or between punctuation and words within a sentence.

Punctuation

This option covers the following error:

  • Punctuation marks in succession    The rule will detect two or more successive punctuation marks that are either identical or different. Example: Mary, still wondering about the photos would be corrected to Mary, still wondering about the photos. The set of punctuation marks for this option varies by language.

Misused Words: Five grammar rules

  • Indefinite Article    targets the use of "a" before a word beginning with a consonant sound and "an" before a word beginning with a vowel sound. Example: We waited for at least a hour would be corrected to We waited for at least an hour.

  • Adjective Adverb Use    targets the use of “real” vs. “really”. “Real” is used to modify a noun, “really” to modify a verb. Example: He is driving real carefully would be corrected to He is driving really carefully.

  • Commonly Confused Words    targets words that require special attention because they sound similar and may have related meanings. They often represent different parts of speech (word classes) and have different spellings. Example: Could you please advice me? would be corrected to Could you please advise me?

  • Comparative Use    targets the use of "more" and "most" with adjectives without comparatives. Don't use comparatives like more, most, less, or least with comparative adjectives. Example: This is more bigger than I thought would be corrected to This is bigger than I thought.

  • Too Many Determiners    targets certain determiners (articles, possessive pronouns, and demonstratives) that shouldn't be combined. Example: I gave her a the carrot could be corrected to I gave her a carrot.

Hyphenation

Hyphenation suggests a hyphen to link modifying words if a noun modifier consists of more than one word. Example: Our five year old son is learning to read would be corrected to Our five-year-old son is learning to read. Also, the numerals "twenty-one" through "ninety-nine" are hyphenated.

Capitalization in Sentences: Three grammar rules

  • Capitalization in Titles    targets articles, short prepositions, and conjunctions that should be in lower case within titles. Example: "Of Mice And Men" is a novel would be corrected to "Of Mice and Men" is a novel.

  • Capitalization of Common Nouns    targets common nouns that should be capitalized when they refer to specific people, educational institutions, companies, government bodies, and other organizations. Example: He graduated from the university of Wisconsin would be corrected to He graduated from the University of Wisconsin.

  • Capitalization After a Comma    targets capitalized words that are preceded by commas. Example: Despite searching everywhere, He couldn't find his keys would be corrected to Despite searching everywhere, he couldn't find his keys.

Punctuation: Three grammar rules

  • Semicolon Use    targets the use of a semicolon instead of a comma in two related but independent clauses that aren't conjoined with a coordinating conjunction such as "and" or "but". Example: They don't have a discussion board, the website isn't big enough for one yet would be corrected to They don't have a discussion board; the website isn't big enough for one yet.

  • Comma Use    targets the use of a comma in front of an independent clause if the sentence begins with a conjunction such as "if" or "although”. Example: If you're like me you've already seen this movie would be corrected to If you're like me, you've already seen this movie.

  • Comma After Introductory Phrases     targets the use of a comma after short introductory phrases. Example: First of all we must make sure the power is off would be corrected to First of all, we must make sure the power is off .

Noun Phrases

Noun Phrases targets number agreement within noun phrases to make sure the words within a single noun phrase agree in number. Example: I would like to buy this apples could be corrected to I would like to buy these apples or I would like to buy this apple.

Subject Verb Agreement

Subject Verb Agreement targets number agreement between subject and verb. The subject and verb should agree in number. They should either both be singular, or both be plural. Example: The teacher want to see him would be corrected to The teacher wants to see him.

Verb Phrases: Two grammar rules

  • Verb Form    targets the use of a correct verb form after an auxiliary verb. Example: They had ate by the time she arrived would be corrected to They had eaten by the time she arrived.

  • Verb Use    targets the use of "have" rather than "of" in constructions with modal auxiliaries such as could, can't, may, and will. Example: I could of known that would be corrected to I could have known that.

Questions

Questions targets the missing question mark in possible questions. Example: Is this a question or not. would be corrected to Is this a question or not?

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

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

See also

Check spelling and grammar in Office 2016 for Mac

Choose how spell check and grammar check work in Word 2016 for Mac

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