Syllabus for the DELF B1 exam

What skills does the DELF B1 exam require? What vocabulary, what grammar points, what communication situations should you master? In this article you will find out EVERYTHING that you may be asked on the day of the DELF B1 exam.

What is DELF B1?

The DELF B1 is an official exam given by the French Ministry of Education. DELF stands for Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française. It officially certifies your level of language proficiency. At the level B1, you should be able to plan an outing, ask for information and seek clarification in different contexts, talk about your interests and hobbies and express your opinions clearly.

You will find the full DELF B1 exam syllabus in the following section.


Social interactions

  • Asking and giving information about daily routines, schedules
  • Ask for and give news about someone
  • Talking about likes and dislikes
  • Talking about plans
  • Ask for or offer help
  • Interact on the phone
  • Make suggestions and react to proposals (agree, accept, refuse, make excuses)
  • Giving a reason, explaining choices
  • Expressing doubts, opposing views
  • Talk about what you liked or disliked
  • Express interest and lack of interest
  • Organise an event/ outing, discussing what is needed
  • Asking for and giving advice
  • Expressing a wish and offering services
  • Warning, cautioning
  • Talking about work experience, work environment
  • Expressing and discussing feelings
  • Expressing wishes and hopes
  • Expressing intentions and goals

Description and stories

  • Narrate past events
  • Recall a memory, an anecdote, a sequence of events
  • Tell a story
  • Recount a past experience
  • Discuss the plot of a book or film
  • Describe a hypothetical situation
  • Find out about places / Describe the characteristics of places
  • Present a country, a town and its inhabitants.
  • Enquire about people / Describe and characterise people
  • Describe relationships between people
  • Write a biography, a portrait of a person
  • Convey a third person’s words, sayings
  • Enquire about things / Describe and characterise things
  • Compare things, people, media content etc.
  • Present a topic, a project
  • State a fact / describe a phenomenon / an (artistic) activity

Exchanging information

  • Seek information
  • Provide information
  • Explain how to use a device
  • Ask for / give an explanation, details
  • Conduct or participate in an interview
  • Rephrase what you said to offer clarity
  • Express a supposition
  • Summarise a short story, an article, a presentation, an interview, a documentary and give an opinion.

Opinions and arguments

  • Express agreement, disagreement
  • Express a point of view, an opinion (justifying and defending it)
  • Express cause and consequence
  • identify a problem and propose solutions
  • Formulate hypotheses
  • Present the advantages and disadvantages of different options
  • Develop an idea, a simple reasoning
  • Develop a logical and coherent argument
  • Argue, defend your opinion
  • Evaluate and discuss (films, books etc.)

Goods and services

  • Confirm , ask for confirmation
  • Express expectations clearly
  • Express satisfaction, dissatisfaction, complain

Other concepts

  • Express an obligation
  • Convey hesitation
  • Communicate regret
  • Talk about possibility and probability
  • Express certainty , doubt



  • Start and/or end a conversation
  • Signal that you want to speak
  • Verify whether the speaker has understood
  • Initiate and end a discussion
  • Advance a discussion by inviting others to join in, express what they think etc.
  • Control the conversation: starting a new topic, introducing an idea
  • Repeat what someone has said (to ensure understanding)

Structuring an oral presentation

  • Introduce a topic
  • Organise your speech (introduction, development, examples, conclusion)
  • Explain
  • Anaphoric references
  • Summarise
  • Conclude
Advance a discussion by inviting others to join in


  • Basic expressions and essentials of a telephone conversation
  • Discuss money
  • Standard formal, business letter
  • How to present in a meeting
  • Rules of written communication 
  • Formal speech, how to address people in a business context



  • Imparfait (describe in past tense)
  • Si + imparfait – proposition
  • Correct usage of passé composé and imparfait
  • The past tenses in a narrative (présent-passé composé-imparfait)
  • Plus-que-parfait



  • Negation (ne … que / aucun ; ni…ni)

The infinitif and impératif

  • Infinitif passé
  • Impératif

The conditional

  • The conditionnel présent
  • The conditional in expressions of feelings, wish, obligation, will, hypothesis, imagined things)
  •  Conditionnel (present and past tense for advice, regret, reproach etc.)


  • Verbs in subjonctif présent (feelings and obligation)
  • Subjonctif / indicatif
  • Subjonctif (after verbs, impersonal phrases and conjunctive phrases for feelings, doubts, wishes, obligation, will, judgement, opposition, concession)

Passive voice


  • Gerund
  • Participe passé and its usage (COD, or relative with the auxiliary ” avoir “)

Indirect speech

  • Indirect speech in the present tense
  • Tense concordance in indirect speech in the past tense

Other verb groups

  • Prepositional verbs


  • Certain hypotheses
  • Uncertain hypotheses



  • Indefinite determiners (un peu, certains, quelques)


  • Indefinite adjectives
  • Adjectives accompanied by prepositions (être heureux de, sûr de, confiant en, remarquable par)
  • Comparison
  • Superlative
  • Adverbs
  • Adverbs of manner

Space and time

  • Prepositions of place (par, en…)
  • Adverbs of place (ailleurs, autour, partout…)
  • Adverbs of time (autrefois, aussitôt, récemment…)
  • Indicators of time (la veille, le lendemain, dès que, d’ici, dans, vers)


  • Pronoms compléments (COD and COI)
  • Double pronominalization (position of COD and COI)
  • Possessive pronouns
  • Demonstrative pronouns
  • Indefinite pronouns
  • On: the three values (nous, ils, quelqu’un)
  • The pronouns “en” (quantity) and “y” (place): verb +  à/verb + de
  • Relative pronouns (dont)
  • Pronoms relatifs composés
  • Mise en relief

Logical relations

  • Opposition (alors que, au contraire)
  • Purpose (pour que + subj, afin de + infinitif, afin que + subj)
  • Cause (car, comme, puisque, grâce à, c’est pourquoi, en effet)
  • Consequence (c’est pourquoi, voilà pourquoi, par conséquent)
  • Concession (bien que, cependant, malgré, pourtant, quand même)


  • Articulators (également, aussi)
  • Concluding chronological articulators (finalement, à la fin)


  • Customs, cultural traditions
  • Professional sphere
  • Family, social relationships
  • People: physical description, character, personality
  • Feelings and emotions
  • Health
  • Daily activities
  • Leisure, sports
  • Holidays, travel
  • Housing: furnishing and devices
  • Consumption: food, beverage, media
  • Fashion
  • Cultural topics: cinema, literature, painting, music, théâtre
  • Media and news
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Environment, climate, ecology
  • The education system, studies, technical training
  • Politics, societal values

As you can see, the skills covered in DELF B1 allow you to navigate in a French-speaking country, to develop your opinions and to express your goals and wishes. 

It is important to be guided by a qualified FLE teacher in your preparation for the DELF B1 exam.

SOURCE: This article was written on the basis of the document Inventaire linguistique des contenus clés des niveaux du CECRL de Eaquals published in 2015.

The next blog post will feature useful phrases for the DELF B1 exam preparation.

If you want to read this article in French, check it out here: Détails du syllabus DELF B1

Do you want to study French, participate in grammar workshops or conversation classes, prepare for an exam? Contact me for a quote or to know the schedule of individual and group French classes. 

Sincerely yours,

Élodie – Your Online French Teacher

French tuition, French course for groups, private French lessons

Language stay in Limousin – New Aquitaine

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