I'm writing system documentation in English, and I've come to a part describing how a http request might have to pass a user rights filter, to access a page. This is my sentence:

If the user passes the ______ filter...

In Norwegian we would say "Eventuell" which would directly google-translate to "possible". However, those two words do not have the same meaning in my opinion. "Possible" indicates too much randomness, I think. "Possible" does not translate back into "Eventuell" either. It translates back to "mulig" which can mean "you need to pass the filter some times, but other times not" without indicating a linked pattern between requests and the need for passing a filter. "Optional" works on another level, but then again indicates that the user can simply choose to execute the step or not. That is not the case either.

I realize that this is nitpicking, and no one would probably misunderstand if I chose "possible", but it does not feel 100% correct in this case.

Is there another word available? Or am I blinded by the fact that we have a separate word for this in my language, and that "possible" might have a wider meaning than I realize in English?

2 Answers 2


How about using the word gate, or gated? You could say ‘gated filter’.

Or you could call it a ‘conditional filter’. To express the idea that 'conditions must be met' in order to pass.


Filter - on its own, does imply that some things may pass through, and others may not. For example - if the condition is 'size' then large particles may not pass through.

So maybe you don't need another word, and can just use 'filter'?

You could say what type of filter it is – for example, call it a ‘security filter’. It would be clear, from that, that some security steps had to be undertaken, and, if satisfied, that it is then possible to pass through.

You could even call it ‘user rights filter’, as you had in your description above.

'User rights filter' is very clear, in English – from that phrase, I would understand that user rights would be tested by the filter, which would then allow entry, or not, depending on the security results collected.

  • +1 for just using something like "...passes the security filter..." since one possibility is that the security filter is (in effect) set to let everything through. An alternative would be "...passes the security filter (if configured)...".
    – TripeHound
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 11:37
  • Yes! Great answer. And of course i knew that word, I just could not find it for this use!
    – jumps4fun
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 14:31
  • Great! Yes it's always in there, somewhere! 😊
    – Jelila
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 14:32
  • The filter is a programmatic entity in this case. So for some requests, no filter is required, because the pages should be open to anyone. However, if a user requests admin pages, the filter will have to be passed, so that we know if a user is in fact an admin ;)
    – jumps4fun
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 14:33
  • Conditional filter was the one I used btw. Because the filter is only activated on the condition that the user tries to access a restricted page :)
    – jumps4fun
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 14:34

Optional works, in terms of being

not required or mandatory.

It's listed as an an antonym of required.

Inessential can also work, but to me sounds awkward and forced.

If the user passes the optional filter, etc...

  • The thing is, "not required, or mandatory" is just plain wrong in some cases. It isn't optional, it is mandatory in some cases.
    – jumps4fun
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 14:30

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