Last Updated on October 13, 2021 by Rajeev Bagra
Source: Grammarly newsletter dated Dec 8, 2020
Every message we write has an intended tone. But unlike with speaking or signing, you don’t have the nuance of body language or vocal inflection to convey your tone when you’re writing an email or instant message. Without these indicators, it can be hard to tell if your reader is receiving the full, nuanced meaning of your message.
Grammarly’s new and improved tone suggestions can help with this. When you use Grammarly in your browser, you can get an assessment of how your text might land with your reader, as well as suggestions for how to refine your tone.
Here’s how to make the most of Grammarly’s tone suggestions:
How to see tone suggestions
Once you have opened the Grammarly browser extension, you can access the tone suggestions in two ways from the floating sidebar. You can click on an individual tone suggestion (they’re outlined in purple), which will take you to options for how to shift your tone to better match your intended goals.
You can also click on the “Predictions” bar at the bottom of the sidebar. This will take you to the tone detector, where you’ll find a list of tone suggestions.
Strike the right tone
The tone suggestions you might see are tailored around a few common tones—ones that may be difficult to achieve if you’re not editing specifically for them.
When you are trying to get something you need, there’s a time to sound forceful and a time to sound polite. When you need to use a bit more tact, Grammarly’s tone suggestions can help find sentences that might come across to your reader as confrontational and provide ways to soften them.
Impolite: Tell me if you can’t finish this assignment by the deadline.
Polite: Let me know if you can’t finish the assignment by the deadline.
It’s healthy to have differences in approach when you’re working with a variety of people. But if you want to maintain friendly working relationships, it’s important to know how to disagree tactfully. The Grammarly browser extension suggests different ways to phrase disagreement, depending on how much tact you need to use.
Harsh: I hate the way our current process is structured.
Tactful: I’m not too fond of the way our current process is structured.
Express yourself with confidence
There’s such a thing as having too much tact, especially when you’re suggesting a brilliant idea or need to set a strict deadline or boundary. When your inclination is to be a bit too self-effacing, Grammarly will suggest phrases that can help you remove phrases that undercut your message, so you can deliver your message with confidence.
Hedging: I may be wrong, but I think this is the best way to go.
Confident: I think this is the best way to go.
No one goes through life completely composed and unruffled. When you’re frustrated, it can be tough to write from a place of patience and empathy. The Grammarly browser extension can find phrases in your text that may come off as defensive or passive-aggressive and suggest ways to remove the barbs.
Passive-aggressive: Thanks for wasting my time.
Straightforward: I feel that you wasted my time.