Gateway to English | Le français sans secrets: Search Tips

The following tips will help you optimize your search results with Gateway to English | Le français sans secrets.

  • There are two search options: "All words" or "Exact phrase."
  • The "All words" search option is the default option. This search option will find all the documents that contain all the words you have typed in the search field, regardless of the order in which you typed the words.
  • The "Exact phrase" search option will retrieve all the documents that contain the specific word or group of words that you typed in the search field.
  • The search engine is not case-sensitive (case refers to capitals or small letters).
  • The search engine does not take into account accents, ligatures (œ, æ) and cedillas. For example, a search for the word designer will find results for designer and désigner.
  • The search engine does not take into account certain common words (a, an, and, as, at, but, by, for, he, I, if, in, is, it, me, my, no, nor, not, of, oh, on, or, so, to, the, us, we). The search engine will take these words into account only if they are combined with other words in the "Exact phrase" search option (e.g. as well or check in / check-in).
  • Use keywords instead of a complete sentence or question.
  • Use the asterisk (*) when you are unsure of how to spell a word or an abbreviation (e.g. Ph.D. or PhD), how to form the plural of a word (e.g. addendums or addenda), or whether to hyphenate a word (e.g. email or e-mail).

    Example: Ph*D*, addend*, e*mail

    The asterisk can only be used for one word at a time. If you enter two words with an asterisk and these words are separated by a space, the search engine will only consider the first word with an asterisk.

  • To ensure you get results containing the search term in both the singular and the plural, again, use the asterisk (*). For example, if you search pronoun*, you will get more results than if you search only pronoun or pronouns.
  • The more specific the keywords you use in your query, the better the search results. If you don’t find the results you are looking for or if you want to narrow your search results, you can add related words.


  • Initial search: pronoun
  • More specific search: pronoun personal
  • Even more specific search: pronoun personal subject
  • To find the conjugation of a specific French verb, it is best to type the infinitive and the verb tense you want.

    Example: aimer passé composé

  • The results contain relevant articles and quizzes in English AND French.
  • The results will display the title of the documents, a short description in which the search terms are in bold as well as the source.
  • The order in which the results are displayed is based on whether the search terms appear in the title of the documents, as well as the number of times these search terms appear in the documents.