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An unseen poem may seem like a daunting aspect, but a logical approach really helps to take away the daunting aspect of such a question. First of all, you have to READ the poem. It may seem obvious, but it is easy to panic in an exam and just pick out bits to analyse. A general understanding of what the poem is saying (or what you think it is) is really important; it shapes your entire answer and gets you the most marks. I recommend planning before writing, so bullet point the main themes in the poem (these become your paragraphs) then you can look for aspects to analyse that strengthen your argument. This way you avoid time-consuming and unnecessary analysis: instead, you focus in on the parts that best support what you are saying about the poem. This will give you several well-thought-out paragraphs that include an overarching argument supported by relevant analysis.see more
The most important things to know about the subjunctive are:
It is not a tense
It is a ‘mood’ or -
An expression of uncertainty
One of the problems we have is that in English we will use words like ‘may’ plus our normal verb to express uncertainty but in French we use the subjunctive form of the verb. This does not change the meaning of the verb, just expresses an uncertainty within the verb.
Here is an example:
‘I am worried that the train may be late this afternoon’ translates as:
‘J’ai peur que le train soit en retard ce l’après-midi.’
Here I am using the third person singular (the train) present subjunctive of the verb ‘to be’ (‘être’) which is ‘soit’ to express uncertainty.
If I am certain the train will be late, I simply use the future tense:
‘The train will be late this afternoon.’
‘Le train sera en retard ce l’après-midi.’
One of the reasons that we worry about the subjunctive (J’ai peur que le subjonctif soit difficile.’) is that it is does not appear to be regular. Because we use it so much everyday it takes on irregular forms that have to be learnt. Also, some verbs do not make the change to a different form – they stay the same. So, it can be confusing!
However, if you can learn the subjunctive forms of just ‘être’ and ‘avoir’, you will have gone a long way to mastering the use of the subjunctive required in GCSE French.see more