This is part of our series Guide on the Production Ecrite section of your DELF Exam.  You might also find useful:

(1) Guide to writing a letter or a message declining an invitation

(2) Guide to filling out a form in French

In the Production Ecrite section of your DELF A1 exam, you will have to do an exercise which consists of writing a message consisting of 40 to 50 words.  It can be about:

  • Responding to an invitation
  • Giving an invitation
  • Telling someone about your vacation
  • Describing your new life in a new place

This message can be in the form of a postcard, letter or an email.  

This article provides a step by step guide on how to write a postcard telling someone about your vacation.

How to plan your postcard

It is possible to plan and practice various response to the possible exercises before the date of your exam.  In general, when you are writing a postcard there are certain information you may include, such as:

  1. Greetings
  2. Where you are
  3. How you went (montagne, plage, campagne, ville…)
  4. When / with whom you went
  5. Where or with whom are you staying? (à l’hôtel, chez l’habitant, dans un camping, dans un gîte…)
  6. What you saw or visit/did or are doing, etc
  7. Are you enjoying yourself?
  8. What is the weather and or the place like
  9. When are you coming back?
  10. Farewells
  11. Sign your name

While it is not necessary to provide all of the above information, It is important to note that DELF exam instructions, sometimes select from the list above and specifically ask you to include such information. As a result, it is important to practice different response which will include different combination of the suggestions above. The ones highlighted in red are the basics and should almost always be included in your postcard.

Writing your postcard

It is important to use as much as possible the grammar and vocabulary that you are required to have at this level. As a result, use more than one tense, give your opinion and even make a recommendation if there is space.

Sample Exercise:

Exercise 1                                                                                                   15 points  

Vous êtes en vacances à Nice. Vous envoyez une petite carte postale a un ami à Paris. Vous lui parlez de temps, de vous activités et vous lui donnez votre date de retour. (40 à 50 mots).

https://i2.wp.com/i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/213337/2/stock-illustration-213337-blank-post-card.jpg?w=640

Sample Response:

Bonjour Jean,

Je suis en vacances à Nice pour cinq jours. C’est une ville très sympa.  Hier, j’ai joué au volley sur la plage. Super! Maintenant, je prends le déjeuner dans un petit café. Il fait très beau, avec beaucoup de soleil. Je rentrerai chez-moi samedi prochain.

Bises

Janet    

 (Word count = 49)

Sample Exercise for You!

Salut______________,

Je suis en vacances à _____________ pour _________________.
C’est une ville très ______________. je visite_________________. c’est________________. Il fait______________ . Je rentrerai chez-moi _____________________.

A bientôt

________________

Evaluation:

  1. Greetings : Bonjour Jean ( We could also use: “Salut Jean” Cher Jean” . Use “Chère” only if it is a female)
  2. Where you are and for how long: Je suis en vacances à Nice pour cinq jours
  3. What you did or are doing: Hier, j’ai joué au volley sur la plage. Maintenant, je prends le déjeuner dans un petit café.
  4. Are you enjoying yourself? Super!
  5. What is the weather and or the place like: Il fait très beau, avec beaucoup de soleil.
  6. When are you coming back?:  Je rentrerai chez-moi samedi prochain.
  7. Farewells: Bises ( We could also use: “A bientôt” “or “a samedi!” or “a la semaine prochaine !” or “au revoir”)
  8. Sign your name: Janet

There is agreement of adjective and verb: un petit café. Plus I have used three tenses:

  • Le présent: je prends, Il fait,
  • le passé composé: j’ai joué
  • le futur: Je rentrerai.

I have included the specific information that they had asked for. I have also stayed within the word limit. 

Warning!

Remember to stick to the word limit and follow the instructions that are given. If they want you to provide any specific information such as when you are coming back, the weather, what you visited etc this must be included in your postcard. You will lose points if this is not done.

Check for Errors

Remember to read carefully through your text. Check to ensure that plural words have a plural ending. Make sure that there is agreement between adjectives and the nouns they describe (such as une belle église, un beau chateau). Check all to ensure that all verbs are in the right tense and that the endings match the subject (such as Je vais for the present but Je suis allé for the past). Check to make sure you have followed the instructions and fully used all the structures that you have learnt during your study.

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