table manners


  • They should not be used for anything other than wiping one’s mouth and should be placed unfolded on the seat of one’s chair should one need to leave the table during the meal,
    or placed unfolded on the table when the meal is finished.

  • The last piece of food on a communal dish should not be served to oneself without first asking for permission, but, if offered the last bit of food in the communal dish, it
    is considered rude to refuse the offer.

  • Other potentially rude behaviors with chopsticks include playing with them, separating them in any way (such as holding one in each hand), piercing food with them, or standing
    them vertically in a plate of food.

  • The last piece of food on a communal dish is never served to oneself without asking for permission.

  • Even if needed, hosts should not have more than three utensils on either side of the plate before a meal.

  • If the right hand is used for eating, then the left hand should be used for serving oneself from common utensils.

  • It is also considered rude to look for a piece one would prefer on the plate instead of picking up the piece that is closest to the diner as symbol of fairness and sharing
    to the others.

  • [19] The fork may be used in the American style (in the left hand while cutting and in the right hand to pick up food) or the European Continental style (fork always in the
    left hand).

  • Pouring one’s own drink when eating with other people is acceptable, but it is more polite to offer to pour drinks to the people sitting on either side.

  • [18] When eating soup or other food served with bowl and spoons, the spoon is always pushed away from oneself, rather than being drawn toward oneself.

  • Diners should always ask for items to be passed along the table to them.

  • If extra utensils are needed, they may be brought to the table along with later courses.

  • A cardinal rule of dining is to use the right hand when eating or receiving food.

  • Often some form of protein (meat, poultry, fish) will be served as a main course and placed at the center of the table within reach of the diners.

  • [11] At family meals, children are often expected to ask permission to leave the table at the end of the meal.

  • Generally, one should not leave the table before the host or the eldest person finishes his or her food.

  • It is considered virtuous for diners to not leave any bit of food on their plates or bowls.

  • It is considered important to finish each item on the plate out of respect for the food being served.

  • Since the napkin is always laid in the lap and brought up only to wipe one’s mouth, hidden food may be accidentally dropped into the lap or onto the host’s floor.

  • In a group dining situation it is considered impolite to begin eating before all the group have been served their food and are ready to start.

  • Rice is always consumed with a spoon and never with chopsticks in formal settings.

  • When one has finished eating, regardless of whether the plate is empty or not, this should be communicated to others by placing the knife and fork together on the plate at
    either the 6 o’clock position (facing upwards), or the 4 o’clock position (facing towards approximately 10 o’clock).

  • [23] Hand washing, both before sitting at a table and after eating, is important.

  • When serving alcohol in Korea, the bottle should be held with the right hand, supported lightly with the left hand.

  • The host begins after all food for that course has been served and everyone is seated.

  • This is particularly customary in restaurants, where it is understood as a cue by waiters that one’s plate can be collected.

  • For example, if olives are eaten by hand, the pit may be removed by hand.

  • If food must be removed from the mouth for some reason—a pit, bone, or gristle—the rule of thumb, according to Emily Post, is that it comes out the same way it went in.

  • Picking up one’s plate or bowl and bringing it to the mouth is considered rude.

  • If alcohol is served with the meal, it is common practice that when alcohol is first served for the eldest/highest-ranked diner to make a toast and for diners to clink their
    glasses together before drinking.

  • [20] Upon leaving the table at the end of a meal, the napkin is placed loosely on the table to the left of the plate.

  • Certain Indian food items can create sounds, so it is important to close the mouth and chew at a moderate pace.

  • [8] Talking with food in one’s mouth is seen as very rude.

  • Alcohol should always be served to older and higher-ranked diners with both hands, and younger or lower-ranked diners may turn their face away from other diners when drinking
    the alcohol.


Works Cited

[‘Sirach 31:12–24: New Revised Standard Version
2. ^ Collins, J. J., 44. Ecclesiasticus, or The Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach, in Barton, J. and Muddiman, J. (2001), The Oxford Bible Commentary, p. 667
3. ^ Halpern, Georges M. “Table Manners Matter”
4. ^ Meakin, Eunice (2003). “Dinner is served: an etiquette guide”. Washington State University Library.
5. ^ Jump up to:a b c d “Eating Food – Manners and Etiquette”. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
6. ^ Jump up to:a
b Vanhoenacker, Mark (June 26, 2013). “The American Way of Using Fork and Knife Is Inefficient and Inelegant. We Need a New Way”. Slate Magazine. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
7. ^ Barbara Cartland, Etiquette Handbook. Paul Hamlyn, London 1962
8. ^
“British Table Manners”. Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
9. ^ Ryan, Matthew. “Is eating with hands considered good manners in European culture?”. Manners Advisor. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
10. ^ Jump up
to:a b “Is It Offensive to Salt Your Food?”. Tasting Table. January 19, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
11. ^ Etiquette. Where to Place Your Cutlery When You’re Done Eating, The Art of Doing Stuff
12. ^ Table Manners Matter
13. ^ “The Secret
of the Formal Place Setting”. Archived from the original on January 25, 1998.
14. ^ “Miss Manners” syndicated column, by Judith Martin, Universal Press Syndicate, June 18, 2009
15. ^ “Humble reader sees the light”. The Buffalo News. July 8, 2010.
Retrieved July 29, 2010.
16. ^ Martin, Judith. “Miss Manners: On Footing the Dating Bill – MSN Relationships – article”. Archived from the original on July 22, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
17. ^ “Miss Manners: Reading at the
Breakfast Table – MSN Relationships – article”. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
18. ^ Daniel Post Senning. “Tricky Table Manners: How Do I…” Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved
February 20, 2014.
19. ^ “Emily Post: Eating Soup…” Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved August 8, 2020.
20. ^ “Style, Hot Trends, Love, Horoscopes”. MSN Lifestyle. Archived from the original on March 20, 2009.
21. ^ Emily
Post’s Etiquette: The Definitive Guide to Manners, Completely Revised and Updated by Peggy Post (Harper Collins 2004).
22. ^ “Indian Table Manners”.
23. ^ Archived copy Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
24. ^
Jump up to:a b Archived copy Archived October 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
25. ^ “Chinese Chopstick Etiquette”.
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