GCSE AQA FRENCH 2018 - GCSE WRITING HELP - what to include? Watch

anonymous_1947
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Hi all,

With the French exams inching closer, I was wondering for the French Writing exam, if there's some form of checklist in order to reach the top grades (8/9s). I'm been working consistently at a grade 7 in writing which don't get me wrong, is great but I would like just to edge that bit further.

I'm aware you don't have to include absolutely every complex structure in your writing, however I feel like those really complex grade 8/9 structures would really polish my work.

je vous remercie par avance!
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Kiki._.
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You need at least 4 tenses. At minimum one for past, one for present, and one for future. And I mean at minimum.
Opinions are a must. Other people's opinions are a must too.
Idioms are the real seller for 8s and 9s.
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MontyZuma
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Make sure to include these as a minimum:

Present/past (imperfect, perfect and maybe pluperfect)/future (simple and near if you can)/maybe conditional tenses
Opinions that are JUSTIFIED (e.g. je trouve que la nourriture dans la cantine est dégoutante PARCE QUE nous devons manger les haricots verts tous les jours)
Some idioms if you can find some as has been mentioned
ADJECTIVES
Complex phrases e.g. qui/que, ce qui/ce que, il faut, je décide de + Infinitive, une fois + past participle, après avoir/être + pp, avant de + Infin
Conjunctions e.g. Cependant, mais
Time phrases e.g. Puis, ensuite, hier, le lendemain

I would also highly recommend structuring your answer with paragraphs along the lines of the bullet points in the question. So one paragraph answers each bullet point and try to write equal amounts for each one. This makes it much easier for the examiner to mark and for them to give you the communication marks for answering the question. YOU MUST ANSWER EVERY THING THE QUESTION ASKS!

If you're aiming for grade 9 then I would certainly recommend including some much more advanced grammar structures. E.g.

Conditional perfect
Future perfect
Passive in all tenses
Present and perfect subjunctives
Causative (e.g. Mes parents me font laver la voiture - my parents make me wash the car)
Expletive ne + subjunctive (this is advanced! PM me if you're interested).

The advantage of these is that they will impress an examiner and maybe make them more likely to give you higher marks. But I wouldn't worry too much about these if you haven't met them. I think you can get full marks just by answering the question and making everything as accurate as possible. The best people will be making very few errors, if any, in their writing and that's who the grade 9s are for.

Je te souhaite bonne chance avec tes examens!
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FrenchStudent200
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If a question asks you to use future, make sure to use the 3 different forms of the future tense: aller x (e.g. je vais travailler), with the endings (e.g. je travaillerai) or by using avoir l'intention de (e.g. j'ai l'intention de travailler)
Try using the subjunctive- a good one is 'pour que je puisse inf'- this just means so that I can and can be slotted into almost any situation
Use different conjuntions, not just 'et' and 'mais' but stuff like 'toutefois'
Use complex structures (au lieu de, avant de, bien que, apres avoir/etre)
When giving opinions, give both sides (d'un cote, mais a l'autre)- always justify points
Passives
All of the tenses
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Chelsea Leo
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That genuinely was some great help, I'm going to keep this page bookmarked and remember them, thanks.
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anonymous_1947
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(Original post by Kiki._.)
You need at least 4 tenses. At minimum one for past, one for present, and one for future. And I mean at minimum.
Opinions are a must. Other people's opinions are a must too.
Idioms are the real seller for 8s and 9s.
Thank you so much! Are there any idioms that can be universally used; no matter what the topic or theme is?
Cheers in advance.
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anonymous_1947
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(Original post by MontyZuma)
Make sure to include these as a minimum:

Present/past (imperfect, perfect and maybe pluperfect)/future (simple and near if you can)/maybe conditional tenses
Opinions that are JUSTIFIED (e.g. je trouve que la nourriture dans la cantine est dégoutante PARCE QUE nous devons manger les haricots verts tous les jours)
Some idioms if you can find some as has been mentioned
ADJECTIVES
Complex phrases e.g. qui/que, ce qui/ce que, il faut, je décide de + Infinitive, une fois + past participle, après avoir/être + pp, avant de + Infin
Conjunctions e.g. Cependant, mais
Time phrases e.g. Puis, ensuite, hier, le lendemain

I would also highly recommend structuring your answer with paragraphs along the lines of the bullet points in the question. So one paragraph answers each bullet point and try to write equal amounts for each one. This makes it much easier for the examiner to mark and for them to give you the communication marks for answering the question. YOU MUST ANSWER EVERY THING THE QUESTION ASKS!

If you're aiming for grade 9 then I would certainly recommend including some much more advanced grammar structures. E.g.

Conditional perfect
Future perfect
Passive in all tenses
Present and perfect subjunctives
Causative (e.g. Mes parents me font laver la voiture - my parents make me wash the car)
Expletive ne + subjunctive (this is advanced! PM me if you're interested).

The advantage of these is that they will impress an examiner and maybe make them more likely to give you higher marks. But I wouldn't worry too much about these if you haven't met them. I think you can get full marks just by answering the question and making everything as accurate as possible. The best people will be making very few errors, if any, in their writing and that's who the grade 9s are for.

Je te souhaite bonne chance avec tes examens!
Thank you so much for this detailed checklist! Are you in year 11 as well? And I will come back to you on the "expletive ne + subjunctive" structure. All I know about it is that the "ne" isn't actually a negative, but apart from that, no idea!
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anonymous_1947
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(Original post by FrenchStudent200)
If a question asks you to use future, make sure to use the 3 different forms of the future tense: aller x (e.g. je vais travailler), with the endings (e.g. je travaillerai) or by using avoir l'intention de (e.g. j'ai l'intention de travailler)
Try using the subjunctive- a good one is 'pour que je puisse inf'- this just means so that I can and can be slotted into almost any situation
Use different conjuntions, not just 'et' and 'mais' but stuff like 'toutefois'
Use complex structures (au lieu de, avant de, bien que, apres avoir/etre)
When giving opinions, give both sides (d'un cote, mais a l'autre)- always justify points
Passives
All of the tenses
Cheers! This was such a help!
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anonymous_1947
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(Original post by Chelsea Leo)
That genuinely was some great help, I'm going to keep this page bookmarked and remember them, thanks.
Same here as well!
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MontyZuma
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(Original post by anonymous_1947)
Thank you so much for this detailed checklist! Are you in year 11 as well? And I will come back to you on the "expletive ne + subjunctive" structure. All I know about it is that the "ne" isn't actually a negative, but apart from that, no idea!
Don't worry. I am in Y12 and am doing French A-Level and did IGCSE (similar to the new GCSE) last year. Happy to explain about the expletive ne construction.
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Sjsjmm
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What was the French writing question for the aqa board 2018
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IMORID
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(Original post by MontyZuma)
Make sure to include these as a minimum:

Present/past (imperfect, perfect and maybe pluperfect)/future (simple and near if you can)/maybe conditional tenses
Opinions that are JUSTIFIED (e.g. je trouve que la nourriture dans la cantine est dégoutante PARCE QUE nous devons manger les haricots verts tous les jours)
Some idioms if you can find some as has been mentioned
ADJECTIVES
Complex phrases e.g. qui/que, ce qui/ce que, il faut, je décide de + Infinitive, une fois + past participle, après avoir/être + pp, avant de + Infin
Conjunctions e.g. Cependant, mais
Time phrases e.g. Puis, ensuite, hier, le lendemain

I would also highly recommend structuring your answer with paragraphs along the lines of the bullet points in the question. So one paragraph answers each bullet point and try to write equal amounts for each one. This makes it much easier for the examiner to mark and for them to give you the communication marks for answering the question. YOU MUST ANSWER EVERY THING THE QUESTION ASKS!

If you're aiming for grade 9 then I would certainly recommend including some much more advanced grammar structures. E.g.

Conditional perfect
Future perfect
Passive in all tenses
Present and perfect subjunctives
Causative (e.g. Mes parents me font laver la voiture - my parents make me wash the car)
Expletive ne + subjunctive (this is advanced! PM me if you're interested).

The advantage of these is that they will impress an examiner and maybe make them more likely to give you higher marks. But I wouldn't worry too much about these if you haven't met them. I think you can get full marks just by answering the question and making everything as accurate as possible. The best people will be making very few errors, if any, in their writing and that's who the grade 9s are for.

Je te souhaite bonne chance avec tes examens!
What is expletive ne?
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