Google Search now has an AI-powered grammar checker

It could be a handy way to make sure your words and punctuation are just right.

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Google is taking aim at the likes of Grammarly with a feature it added to Search recently. The service now includes a grammar checker, which can analyze the construction of a phrase or sentence and offer suggestions if it something seems off.

Punching in a phrase like “grammar check,” “check grammar” or “grammar checker” will make sure the tool activates, as 9to5 Google points out. But Search might still offer grammar suggestions if you don’t include one of those phrases with your query.

If the tool notices an error, including a spelling mistake, Google will rewrite the sentence and indicate what’s different. You’ll easily be able to copy the corrected phrase or sentence by hovering over it. If your grammar is spot on, the tool will give you a dopamine-inducing green checkmark, but not, sadly, a gold star.

Unsurprisingly, the tool is powered by artificial intelligence. It might not always be accurate, especially if you ask it to review a phrase or fragment instead of an entire sentence. If you spot something wrong with a suggestion (or want to help the system understand that its correction was helpful), you can provide feedback.

The tool will only be available in English for the time being, but it's worth noting that it won't run if the phrase or sentence violates Search policies. It won't check the grammar for dangerous, harassing, medical, sexually explicit or terrorist content, or anything to do with violence and gore. You might have to look elsewhere to make sure that a phrase or sentence containing profanity or vulgar language is grammatically correct too.

Google has, of course, offered grammar tools in Gmail and Google Drive for a long time now. Bringing one to Search makes a lot of sense, given that it has a dictionary tool in its extensive bag of tricks. It'll save you having to open Google Docs or another app. You won't necessarily have to bust out a dusty copy of The Elements of Style either.

However, many people just focus on the keywords when they search for something on Google and don't write complete sentences or grammatically correct phrases (e.g. "hard boiled egg how long"). The AI will have to make an educated guess as to whether someone wants their grammar to be checked or not. Otherwise, Search could push the information they're looking for even further down the page.