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Dinner Etiquette
Dinner Etiquette

Learn English in this dinner etiquette English lesson

Date: Feb 17 2020

Themes: Food, Party

Grammar: First Conditional


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Have you ever been to a really fancy dinner party at an expensive restaurant? There are more utensils than you can count! It seems like you’re outnumbered by cutlery, cups, and plates. It can be a dining disaster if you’ve never learned culinary etiquette.

There is some good news, though. Fortunately, the basics of proper dining aren’t hard to manage. Always start with the utensil that’s farthest away from your plate and move one item in with each course. Other tips include being polite, talking softly, and, of course, never chewing with your mouth open.

Jeff and Rafael are getting ready for a big dinner party. Who needs to learn some dining do’s and don’t’s quickly? Find out in this English lesson about etiquette.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Jeff:  Hey! What are you doing? Let’s eat!

Rafael:  Jeff, I’m really busy right now. I’m really trying to set this table. I have got to get the cutlery just right. Lots of people are coming over.

Jeff:  What? Oh man, you’re too uptight.

Rafael:  What? Haven’t you ever heard of culinary etiquette?

Jeff:  Why is that important?

Rafael:  Well, you’ve got to know your stuff about cutlery. You’ve got to be polite. I mean, it’s a big ordeal, but once people come and they see that the fork is in the right place, just to the left of the knife, you feel really good about yourself.

Jeff:  I’d feel really good about myself if I had some food in me.

Rafael:  Look, it may seem like I’m being uptight, but you’ll enjoy your food more if it’s presented well.

Jeff:  OK, I’ll keep an open mind. Prove me wrong, buddy.

Rafael:  For starters, fold your napkin and put it in your lap, Jeff.

Jeff:  OK. This is going to be a long night.

Rafael:  You’ve got to start somewhere.


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Jeff is hungry and wants to eat, but Rafael stops him because the table isn’t set yet. Rafael wants to make sure all the utensils are all in place before the guests arrive.

Jeff really doesn’t understand why Rafael is so worried about where the knives, forks, and spoons go. For him, it’s more important that he have access to the food, and soon! Rafael, on the other hand, tells Jeff that presentation is important, too. In fact, he thinks Jeff might even enjoy his food more if he learns a few basic rules.

How important is etiquette where you live? What are some dining rules that you follow?



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we have a good rule in GErmany

be at home when you eat as polite , same as when you have a dinner with foreign human.

just…......many Germans dont know these rules. They talk, also when their ´mouth is filled with food. they don t wait, until the elder person starts eating , after praying. When I have visited other countries, like Usbekistan, Tajikistan, India, it s normal. But Western ppl mostly ignore that ….pooor them

05:45 PM Jan 12 2014 |




Mostly it depends on family’s condition and its level. However on average there are some major etiquettes that all need to pay more attention to them especially when they involve in big dinner parties. There are a few etiquette such as avoiding of digesting morsels with opened mouth. In addition to did not talk with open mouth as well as keep away of  being talkative during eating meals. Also, don’t keep eye on others face a lot during eating. At last but not at least is to evade of talking about some disgusting topics and so on.

07:58 PM Jan 10 2014 |



I agree with Jeff it’s important to fellow  the dinner etiquette espicaly when we are in formal ocation but when we are in with our friends we can let it go and make it easy

07:50 PM Jan 08 2014 |



Russian Federation

“Netiquette” it’s good idea ))) I’m web developer and often see like people in the net disturb all rules of  morals

01:44 AM Jan 08 2014 |




I like to see all your guys’ comments…. \0/

02:56 AM Jan 07 2014 |

Ngubo Sixtus

South Africa

i do like this lesson, it teaches me a lot.

06:33 PM Jan 06 2014 |




in my country the next rule is also important:

you must not start eating before the eldest person in the family starts eating.

03:14 PM Jan 06 2014 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

you know,in Iran when you want to eat dinner or lunch all family members are together and they start eating by the name of god!

some times a family invite other relatives and they enjoy being together and talking and then eat lunch or dinner togetger.it’s realy lovely!

you shouldn’t talk with a full mouth and many other rules!

12:46 PM Jan 06 2014 |




When it comes to culinary etiquette i know the basics.  i thanks God that i was never invited  to a fancy dinner, because I wouldn´t have known how to  follow the rules .But  one think is for sure, no sooner had I been seated at the table,  the other guests  noticing  my lack of culinary culture or etiquette, if you prefer, would have known that they are going to have  a  entertaining  night  just looking at me how i go through while   messing  up  with the utensils.   lol….....   

11:59 AM Jan 06 2014 |



It´s very important for me that people care about culinary etiquette. It´s parents duty and responsibility to teach children culinary etiquette.

10:20 AM Jan 06 2014 |




here in yemen we must say “basm Alahh” (by the name of god ) before we start eating , and also we must talk about any topic during we eat ; never be silent ,

we must not ascribe our backs to anything , we must eat in modesty , and of course
never chewing with our mouths open .

08:58 AM Jan 06 2014 |




it’s very importand and useful in some meetings . Proper dining etiquette not only can prevent culinary events from becoming an ordeal but also make a good impression on others .

but when together with best friends and family , i prefer no too many rules .  cos having dinner with friends and family itself is a pleasure . why follow so many rules . of course , it’s impolite if friends and family do mind . usually they dont .

08:43 AM Jan 06 2014 |




We do care about those complex culinary etiquettes as we have dinner with guest or someone you respect ,most important with your boss .As usual with family or friends ,culinary etiquette isn’t the matter at all.

Normally,do not make any werid sound like burp,Let the guest start to eat.

03:09 AM Jan 06 2014 |



Dont speak loud .

02:08 PM Jan 04 2014 |




The culinary etiquette is useful – indeed. However, it’s not something that we use everyday. I mean, it’s ok when we’re in an important meeting with people that are not close, but… Why would we use it with our family and friends around? I’m not a “wild” guy, but I think you all get my point. Depending on the food, I just need a fork and a knife. I don’t do it, but I’d rather to use a spoon to eat everything. It’s a way easier! 

Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve already been to expensive restaurants. I know how to act when I’m in those situations. giggles

01:43 PM Jan 04 2014 |

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