Whether you are writing a dissertation, a formal essay, or a blog post, your aim is to produce the most readable manuscript and to avoid outright French grammar mistakes. Having a piece of text riddled with French grammatical and spelling errors is not only distracting for your readers but also can hurt your reputation and raise doubts about your knowledge and expertise in a subject.
While you should consider hiring a professional copy editor if you’re writing a novel, there are a number of online French grammar tools that everyone can use for free. These online tools let you correct most of the errors in your texts. Preparing an error-free piece of text in French without spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes is what takes a manuscript from good to great. It’s the trademark of great content.
I have reviewed the best French grammar checker online software that will make your writings error-free. Before starting the comparison of the best French grammar checkers, I would like to give a general overview about grammar checkers and how they really work:
- What is a grammar checker?
- Errors that a French grammar checker can find
- Do you really need a grammar checker?
- How to use a grammar corrector?
- Top French grammar checkers
- The best French grammar checker
- French grammar checkers: The alternatives
What is a grammar checker?
A grammar checker is a tool or software that can verify common spelling and grammar errors. Grammar checkers go beyond verifying spelling mistakes, they check grammar too. A grammar checker ensures that:
- sentences are properly structured and grammatically correct
- words are spelled checked and have no basic typos
- punctuation is addressed correctly and is consistent
At this point, you know that French grammar checkers can rescue you. Next, you’ll discover the specific problems that a grammar checker can identify and fix.
What kinds of errors does a French grammar tool find?
Basically, a good French grammar corrector should be able to quickly check the text you’ve written, highlight potential errors, and suggest corrections. Some common errors that a French grammar checker can find are:
- tricky spelling errors
- punctuation errors
- gender errors (un, une)
- conjugation errors (subjonctive…)
- article (le, la, du, de la)
- subject-verb agreement
- singular/plural nouns
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Do you really need a French grammar checker?
It’s important to use a grammar checker before turning in your essay or sending a professional email in French. In a business context, poor language structure is one of the main reasons for losing customers, arrangements, and missing professional opportunities. In a competitive job market, there’s never been a more important time for job seekers to polish their resume and avoid all kinds of grammar and spelling mistakes to make their application stand out.
How To Use A Grammar Corrector?
I still remember the book I used when I was a student, the Bescherelle. I still use it sometimes. Nowadays the grammar correctors are online and automated. They provide a complete analysis of a text. Most grammar checkers are free. You just have to paste your text on the required field. Then click the button to start the verification. That’s it!
But be aware that grammar checkers aren’t perfect.
Automated checkers have their limitations. A grammar checker cannot replace a human corrector because these tools don’t have the ability to reason like a human and understand things in their context.
French grammar checkers
Pick a robust grammar checker tool that you can rely on to catch your writing mistakes. While some French grammar correctors are great and provide you with comprehensive writing feedback, other tools can make your text worse and alter the meaning of your sentences.
To choose the best tool, I put the many online French grammar tools to the test.
For that I took an extract of Le Petit Prince de Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Here is the original text in French:
Il me fallut longtemps pour comprendre d’où il venait.
Le petit prince, qui me posait beaucoup de questions, ne semblait jamais entendre les miennes. Ce sont des mots prononcés par hasard qui, peu à peu, m’ont tout révélé. Ainsi, quand il aperçut pour la première fois mon avion (je ne dessinerai pas mon avion, c’est un dessin beaucoup trop compliqué pour moi) il me demanda :
– Qu’est-ce que c’est que cette chose-là ?
Then I rewrote the extract and I added 12 mistakes on purpose. Words with errors are in bold:
Il me fallu longtemps pour comprendre d’il venait.
Le petit prince, qui me posait beaucoup des questions, ne semblait jamais entendre la miennes. Ces sont des mots prononcés par hasard qui, peu de peu, m’ont tout révélé. Ainsi, quant il aperçut pour la première fois mon avion (je ne dessinerai pas ma avion, c’est un dessins beaucoup très compliqué pour moi) il mon demanda :
– Qu‘est que c’est que cette chose-là ?
Now let’s see if the following 7 French grammar checkers can find these 12 mistakes.
Bon Patron is a writing assistant that not only corrects grammar but also gives you comprehensive writing feedback.
BonPatron found 10 of the 12 mistakes. It also offers good explanations in English.
Scribens found 5 of the 12 mistakes. The tool missed several mistakes! This is the reason why I don’t recommend relying on this tool.
Reverso provides corrections and suggestions and more information via an in-built French dictionary.
Reverso found 7 of the 12 mistakes.
You can use the Cordial tool to proofread and check for grammatical errors in social media updates, emails, or blog posts.
Cordial found 9 of the 12 mistakes. Cordial found more mistakes than reverso and Scribens.
CorrectionOnline found only 6 of the 12 mistakes.
It’s a French grammar checker with explanations in French. If you’re a French beginner, you may not understand all the explanations.
LanguageTool found 7 of the 12 mistakes.
What is the best French grammar checker?
Regarding the results of this comparison, the best French grammar checkers that found most of the errors are:
French grammar checkers: The alternatives
The best French grammar checker is a human expert.
The linguist Geoffrey K. Pullum argued in 2007 that they were generally so inaccurate as to do more harm than good:
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Now that you’ve learned about different French grammar checkers and discovered a few alternatives, you can use your creativity to write dissertations, formal essays, blog posts in French without any grammar or spelling errors.
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