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15 Impeccable Table Manners Everyone Should Know by Now

The way you eat and behave at the table is still important. Follow these tips to have good table manners and impress those around you.

blow the pumpkin pasta with scallopCK Ma/Shutterstock

 Never blow on your food

Let your food cool of its own accord—don’t blow on it.

Girl in the cafe, wipes his mouth with a napkinSvetlana Klimovich/Shutterstock

 Never spit

Don’t spit unwanted food into your napkin—remove it with your fork and place it on the side of your plate. If you’re dining out, these common mistakes can be especially embarrassing.

Friends making a toast at the kitchen table before dinnerMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Finish chewing before you speak

Never talk with your mouth full. You should always follow these etiquette tips when you’re a guest in someone’s home.

Healthy food theme: hands holding knife and fork on a plate, top viewLesya89/Shutterstock

 Hold your knife correctly

Don’t hold your knife poised as if ready to sign a check, and don’t point with any of your cutlery.

Beautiful young woman in the restaurant, wipes mouth with a napkin.Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock

 Use your napkin properly

A napkin is there to protect your clothes; use it to dab the corners of your mouth but never to polish your teeth. These are the etiquette rules everyone in the royal family must follow.

Female hand breaking freshly baked breadsebra/Shutterstock

 Never cut bread or bread rolls

Break the bread with your fingers and butter a small piece at a time. Breakfast toast is the only exception.

Woman adding salt to food in restaurant.Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock

 Add salt after you taste

Be careful not to insult your host by adding salt before you have tasted your food. You should also know these strange etiquette rules from around the world.

Hand holding fork and spoon over the dinner tableBalLi8Tic/Shutterstock

 Indicate that you are finished properly

When you’ve finished eating, place your knife and fork or spoon and fork together, vertically. Leave your plate where it is—never push it away from you.

hands holding glasses and toasting, happy festive moment, luxury celebration conceptBogdan Sonjachnyj/Shutterstock

Limit your drinking

Don’t get drunk; you’ll look absurd. Here are 10 more table etiquette mistakes you need to stop making already.

Pretty Caucasian smiling woman putting a plate with meal on dining table at backyard celebration.LStockStudio/Shutterstock

Leave with grace

If you have to leave the table, only be absent for a short amount of time and leave your napkin on your chair while you are away. Memorize these etiquette rules about tipping around the world.

Dinner at restaurant.wrangler/Shutterstock

Use the right hands

Hold your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right.

Waiter carrying a plate with salad dish on a weddingRomrodphoto/Shutterstock

Don’t eat right away

Wait until everyone has their food in front of them before you start eating. Read up on these other social etiquette secrets you’ll only learn in etiquette class.

Hands passing over a bowl of salad served during a dinner of a party in a restaurant.Yulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock

Pass the food properly

If the dish isn’t being passed to a specific person, pass it around the table to your right. While you’re at it, follow these 13 other etiquette rules for when you’re dining at a restaurant.

A female hand buttering breadGANNA MARTYSHEVA/Shutterstock

Butter the bread one piece at a time

When eating your bread, break off a bite-sized piece and then butter it. Never butter the entire slice.

African woman greeting female friend for having a new house. Smiling young woman congratulating her friend. Couple welcoming friend for housewarming party.Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Leave quickly

When the host indicates that the dinner is over, they will rise from their chair. When it is time for you to leave make the departure brief but cordial, don’t give a lengthy goodbye. Whether you’re dining out or just hanging out, make sure that you always practice these 50 little etiquette rules.