The Junior Cert French letter question is worth 50 marks.
It is typically more difficult to predict than the postcard or note.
However, I have done my ultimate best in condensing it as much as possible for you !
Remember that format is worth 5 marks in this.
Put your address in the top right corner with the date underneath, including the month.
Greet them (“cher” for a male, “chère” for a female)
Sign off (“à bientôt,” followed by your name)
Some of the following appear often and are worth preparing:
Asking your penpal something (for example if they will work over summer, or inviting them to come to your house)
Tu peux (m’envoyer des photos/ venir chez moi) :
Tu travailleras ?:
Can you… send me photos/ come to my house
Will you work?
Giving news about your family/ best friend: (See below)
Apologising for a delay in replying:
Je m’excuse de ne pas avoir écrit plus tôt. J’avais dû étudier pour mon brevet.
Sorry for not writing earlier. I had to study for my Junior Cert.
Thanking your penpal for something:
Merci de ta…. dernière lettre/ cadeau : Thanks for your last letter/ present
Referring to plans (for example summer or weekend):
Des projets…. L’été/ le weekend/ le mois prochain: Plans… Next/ summer/ weekend/ month
Les vacances… de Pâques/ de Noël/ d’été: Easter/ Christmas/ Summer holidays
Le mi–trimestre: The mid term
Aller en ville/ au cinéma… Faire des boutiques : To go to town/ to the cinema.. To go shopping
Mentioning something that you have bought recently:
Acheter… To buy
Des vêtements/ un DVD/ un livre: Clothes/ a DVD/ a book
(See below for useful vocabulary to elaborate on films and books)
Saying that you have moved house and giving information about your new house/ area
Déménager: To move house
Nouvelle maison: New house
Il y a: There is/ there are
Des chambres/ Une cuisine/ Des salles de bain: Bedrooms/ a kitchen/ bathrooms
Un jardin : A garden
Le quartier : The area
Des magasins/ restaurants: Shops/ restaurants
Grand(e)/ Petit(e): Big/ small
I would also advise learning all of the below. These are topics that have appeared individually but are particularly useful as you can use them for broader points. For example, you may be asked to refer to your weekend plans. You can use the below vocabulary in saying that you will go to the cinema/ a sports event. You are often asked to give news about your family/ best friend. Feel free to use the above vocabulary on moving house and modify it to say that your friend has moved house. You can also say that your family/ friend bought a new animal, or that your sister has found a new job. Parfait!
Vocab to describe a book/film that you have recently read/watched
Le nouveau film/ livre de…. J.K. Rowling/ Johnny Depp
Le livre/film était…. Intéressant/drôle / intrigant: The book/ film was…interesting/ funny/ intriguing
Les personnages étaient/ sont réalistes: The characters were/ are realistic
Something about a new pet
Acheter… To buy
Un chiot: A puppy
Mignon/ gâté : Cute/ Spoilt
Beaucoup d’énergie: Lots of energy
Blanc/ Noir: Black/ White
Something about a sports event
Jouer: To play
Une finale: A final
Nerveux/ Nerveuse: Nervous
Marquer un but: To score a goal
Gagner/ Perdre: To win/ lose
Something job related :
Travailler : To work
Un petit boulot: A part time job
Gagner de l’argent: To earn money
Acheter: To buy
Faire des economies: To save money
Some letters ask you to refer to your summer plans, or to describe your holidays. Use your postcard vocabulary for this- find this here!
Sample letters are here.
Useful phrases that can be used in all letters:
Comment vas-tu? J’espère que tout va bien avec toi. Merci de ta dernière lettre.
How are you? I hope that all is well with you. Thanks for your last letter.
J’ai des nouvelles: I have news
As-tu des nouvelles?: Do you have news?
Quels sont tes projets pour… What are your plans for…?
C’est tout pour l’instant: That’s all for now
Devine? Guess what?
Écris- moi bientôt: Write to me soon
Dis bonjour à tes parents de ma part: Say hi to your parents from me