Important Verbs for Leaving Cert French Writing


As I have mentioned before, learning off realms of text is a complete waste of time for Leaving Cert Opinion pieces.  While it is advisable to have a range of vocabulary prepared for a number of topics (for example drugs, alcohol, social media), learning off actual essays on this is useless given that you will be heavily penalised if you fail to answer the actual question being asked. In other words, writing phrases that you learned about the implications of drug use is useless in a question about dealing with the problem of drugs.

It’s significantly more worthwhile to concentrate on correct sentence structures and useful verbs so that you can actually create your own sentences in any essay situation. This is so worthwhile, particularly that recent Leaving Cert Opinion Pieces seem to stray away from prepared topics- recent question topics included friendship, animals in zoos and passing your driving test. These are topics that you are unlikely to have prepared- so learn the below verbs and use them correctly to formulate sentences of your own. There are many more verbs (a lot from Junior Cycle) that I’ve omitted as I wanted to avoid making this list too long- so learn other verbs as you go too.

In cases where the verb is irregular, please ensure that you look up the correct conjugation and learn it off by heart.

I’ve included a few example sentences at the bottom.

Avoir envie de: To want

Concerner: To concern

Devenir: To become (this is an irregular verb)

Devoir: To have to (this is an irregular verb)

Dépenser: To spend

Éviter: To avoid

Faire des économies: To save money

Fournir: To provide

Gagner: To win/ To earn

Gaspiller: To waste

Grignoter: To snack (useful for food discussion)

Menacer: To threaten

Mener: To lead

Négliger: To neglect

Perturber: To disturb

Ralentir: To slow down

Réussir: To succeed

Risquer: To risk

Se sentir: To feel

Se goinfrer de: To stuff oneself with (useful for food discussion)

Se passer de: To do without

Sensibiliser: To make aware of/ to education (eg sensibliser le public: To make the public aware of)

Toucher: To affect

Valoir: To be worth (this is irregular)



La confiance en soi est obligatoire pour mener une vie heureuse.

Self confidence is necessary to lead a happy life.

Le gouvernement doit sensibiliser le public à la nutrition pour éviter l’obésité.

The government has to educate the public about nutrition to avoid obesity.

On a une tendance de se goinfrer de cochonneries en regardant la télé.

We have a tendancy to stuff ourselves with junk food while watching television.


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