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Which Fork Goes Where...?

It's always helpful to get a refresher on where all the pieces of a table setting belong. Here are a few tips and etiquette guidelines to follow:


The piece of flatware that will be used last is placed directly next to the plate you are using.


Both forks are placed on the left of the plate. The fork furthest from the plate is for salad. The fork next to the plate is for the dinner.


The dinner plate is placed on the table when the main course is served and should not on the table when the guests sit down. The salad plate and the soup bowl can be layered on top of the dinner plate.


The dinner knife is placed on the right side, and directly next to and one inch away from the plate. The blade should face the plate. If the main course requires a steak knife, it may be substituted for the dinner knife.


The soup spoon and teaspoon should be to the right of the knife.


A small bread plate is placed above the forks, above and to the left of the service plate.

The butter spreader is laid on the bread-and-butter plate.


Usually one wine glass is used along with a water goblet. If the table setting is uncrowded, there is room to arrange glassware in any way you like, such as in a straight line parallel with the edge of the table or a diagonal line angled toward the table's edge.

Water Goblets-

The water glass is placed in a position closest to the hand.

Wine Glasses-

At least one wine glass should sit to the right and possibly above the water glass.


Place the napkin in the place setting's center, or left of the last fork.


Place a cup and saucer to the right of the place setting.


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