Grammar test

What does it do?

This test checks for potential grammatical errors in English text (other languages are not supported).

Why is it important?

Grammatical mistakes leave a poor impression of your website, and can also make your content harder to understand.

Technical explanation

Sitebeam only tests pages that it believes are in English (US or British). To learn how languages are detected automatically, see the Languages test.

The text on each English page is broken down and classified by context. This process identifies content which should clearly be ignored (e.g. code fragments), content which is unambiguously content, and special classes of text like headings and bullet points.

This process is extremely complex and goes beyond simply looking at the ‘correct’ use of HTML you might expect. For example, Sitebeam will intelligently understand this HTML:

<p>This is a run</p>
<p>on sentence.</p>

as a single sentence: “This is a run on sentence”, whilst this:

<h2>This is a heading</h2>
<p>but this is just a paragraph</p>

would be parsed as two sentences. Many sentences are ambiguous, e.g.

<p>Choose an option: <a href='#'>Click me</a> <a href='#'>Click me</a></p>

Sitebeam cannot know whether this is three sentence fragments, or a single sentence. In ambiguous situations like this, some grammatical rules are modified for the affected text, so in this case the repeating “Click me” would not result in an error, but if written like so:

<p>Choose an option: Click me Click me</p>

Then an error would be shown. Similar adaptations are applied to bullet points (which don’t require capitalization), headings and more.

Potential problems

Grammar checking is an imprecise science. It is not currently possible to perform a flawless grammar check with any technology yet invented.

Like Microsoft Word, Grammarly, and other tools which attempt to do so, the aim here is to be useful, but it is not possible to be perfect. You should not assume that every suggestion this tool provides is correct.

How to improve this score

Either correct grammatical mistakes in your text, or exclude any incorrectly identified errors Sitebeam finds.

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