Google Search can now critique your grammar

Google Search can now critique your grammar

August 21, 2023

In a bid to enhance user experience and promote engagement, Google Search has unveiled a new feature capable of evaluating the grammatical accuracy of search queries. This intriguing "grammar check" function, first noticed by 9to5Google, aims to provide users with suggestions to improve the grammar of their search phrases. For instance, if you were to input the sentence "the quick brown fox jump over the lazy dog", Google Search would promptly point out that "jumps" would be more appropriate than "jump".

While it might be expected that the general public would not be overly concerned with the grammatical precision of their search terms, it is plausible that this custom software upgrade has broader intentions. In scenarios where a sentence appears awkward in a messaging application, Google hopes that users will utilise the grammar check feature to fine-tune their wording. This strategic move aligns with the recent link preview capability, boosting search frequency and user interaction, thereby yielding positive implications for Google's business endeavours.

Support for this grammar check feature has been documented on a dedicated webpage for a couple of weeks now. Colette Garcia, a spokesperson for Google, has confirmed that this feature was rolled out in late June. This new addition joins the ranks of other integrated tools within Google Search, such as dice rolling and built-in timers, which transform the search engine into more of a multipurpose interface than a mere search platform.

According to Google's support page, this tool verifies the correctness of grammar output and provides guidance for rectification if errors are detected. Furthermore, it is equipped to rectify spelling mistakes. Powered by AI systems, Google acknowledges that the feature may not achieve absolute accuracy, particularly when dealing with incomplete sentences.

Yet, when subjected to more intricate sentences, the limitations of Google's grammar check feature become apparent. For example, when confronted with the sentence "my field has less blades of grass than my neighbor’s", which misuses the terms "less" and "fewer", the tool fails to offer a correction. However, when the sentence is altered to "my field has fewer grass than my neighbor’s", the tool successfully identifies the error.

It is worth noting that Google Docs outperformed Google Search's grammar check. The grammar tool embedded within Google Docs detected the grammatical inaccuracy in both variations of the sentence.