Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Have you ever helped set a table?

  • And found yourself wondering...

  • Where to place the forks?

  • Or sat down to eat at a restaurant...

  • And wondered which utensils to use?

  • Well, here's some simple, traditional etiquette tips.

  • On how to set a table.

  • What would happen if you set a table like this?

  • It doesn't look good.

  • And you have to clean up the mess.

  • Before you can even start.

  • Let's try another way.

  • To start, use a placemat or tablecloth.

  • But not both.

  • So the dishes aren't directly on the table.

  • This is more about looks than etiquette.

  • But it's rare to see nothing under a plate.

  • Unless you're eating at a picnic table.

  • Set out any flowers.

  • Candlesticks.

  • Or other decorations you like.

  • Candles are usually only lit at night.

  • Start with utensils for the main course.

  • Putting your dinner fork on the left.

  • And your dinner knife on the right-hand side.

  • Since these are the hands we use them with.

  • Here's a helpful tip.

  • You always eat outside-in.

  • So to set for salad...

  • We'll put the salad fork...

  • To the outside of the dinner fork.

  • And the salad knife to the outside of the dinner knife.

  • We'll have salad first.

  • Then our main course.

  • Notice, too, that the knife blades...

  • Are both pointed toward the plate.

  • This is an old tradition.

  • From a time when dinner knives were quite sharp.

  • And it was a sign of politeness and nonaggression.

  • To keep them pointed away from other diners.

  • We might have some soup.

  • And since soup usually comes first...

  • The soup spoon goes outside the knives.

  • Since we use our right hand to hold it.

  • Here's another tip.

  • Only set the table with what you'll need.

  • If you're not eating soup...

  • Don't set a soup spoon.

  • Now, for dessert, we'll have ice cream.

  • So we'll place the dessert up top.

  • Since we don't need it for a little while.

  • Notice that the bowl of the spoon.

  • Is pointing to the left.

  • This way, when it's time to eat...

  • You just slide it down.

  • And it's in the right spot.

  • If you were having cake.

  • You'd set a fork and flip it 180 degrees.

  • So it would be right side-up on the left instead.

  • Next we'll anchor our setting with the plate.

  • You can also serve from the kitchen.

  • Then bring them to the table.

  • The bread plate goes up and to the left of the setting.

  • And the butter knife goes on the plate at an angle.

  • Again, with the blade pointing in.

  • There's only one spot left.

  • And that's for the drinks.

  • Set the wine glass to the upper right.

  • And then place the water glass to the left of it at an angle.

  • If you're like me.

  • And can never remember which goes where.

  • Think water, wine.

  • w-a, w-i.

  • a, i.

  • They go left to right in alphabetical order.

  • Another tip.

  • To remember left and right with the bread and the drinks...

  • Think B-M-W like the car.

  • B, your bread plate, is on the left.

  • M, your meal, is in the middle.

  • And W, your water, is on the right.

  • Lastly, the napkin traditionally goes to the left of the forks.

  • Though it's okay to put it underneath them, too.

  • For a fancier meal like this one.

  • That takes up a lot of space.

  • We'll put it in the middle.

  • Now we're ready to eat.

  • Hopefully these tips will be helpful.

  • The next time you're asked to help set the table.

  • Or sit down at a fancy meal.

  • Enjoy!

Have you ever helped set a table?

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 US TED-Ed table plate soup knife fork

【TED-Ed】How to set the table - Anna Post

  • 11198 1069
    VoiceTube posted on 2013/08/11
Video vocabulary