Are You Setting the Table Correctly?

Plate With Silverware Purchased

It seems like a simple thing… setting the table… but it’s interesting how many people really don’t know how to set the table properly. And, because there is a right and wrong way to set the table, your dinner guests immediately can see if you have done it correctly or not.

Below are the rules of how to set the table so that you know, and so that you can teach your kids correctly.

The Huffpost also had a great article about this today. To read their article on “The Utensil Etiquette Your Parents Never Taught You” click HERE.

Tips on Setting the Table:

1. Count. Forks go on the left because both the words “fork” and “left” have 4 letters. Spoons and knives go on the right because they each have 5 letters like the word “right”.

2. Use the “b” and “d” rule. Take your fingers and make an “O” between your fingers and thump and then put up your index finger. You’ll notice you have made a small “b” with your left hand and a small “d” with your right. These letters can help you to remember that your bread plate (b) goes on the left of the main plate, and that your drink glass (d) goes on the right.

3. Don’t forget dessert. Dessert utensils go to the top of the plate or on the inside of the main course utensils.

4. You always use the utensils from the outside of the plate working in. So, if you are having a salad before your meal the salad fork would go on the outside left of the main course fork. If you are having soup before the main course then the soup spoon would be placed on the outside of the knife.

5. The napkin. The napkin goes to the left of the plate or directly in the plate.

Please see the diagram below for more detailed information.

Have an etiquette question? Please email me at or go to my website by clicking HERE.

If you have a 5th – 7th grade and would like them to learn about table manners, confident greetings and conversation skills, electronic etiquette, and how to show respect and kindess to adults and peers, click HERE to register for my last Charlotte class this year on November 2nd at Carmel Country Club.