Take a test

Take the time to answer a few questions on decorum to revise your good manners.

When walking on the sidewalk, a man walking next to a woman should stand:
  • On her left
  • On her right
  • It depends on the sidewalk

It depends on the sidewalk. The man walks on the side which will protect the woman from any splashes from the road.

When entering a restaurant, a man accompanying a woman should:
  • Enter first
  • Let the woman enter first
  • Enter at the same time as her

Enter first. The man should always enter first in order to avoid putting the woman in any kind of danger.

When walking up or down a flight of stairs, the man should be:
  • In front of the woman only when walking down
  • In front of the woman only when walking up
  • Always behind the woman
  • Always in front of the woman

Always in front of the woman. By discretion and to catch her if she falls on her way down

When you are invited for dinner, you should arrive:
  • 15 minutes late
  • 5 minutes early
  • 30 minutes late
  • Right on time

You should arrive 15 minutes late. In France, it is appropriate to arrive 15 minutes late, the famous “Parisian quarter of an hour” which allows the hostess to deal with any last minute unforeseen circumstance. In the event of a reception, 30 minutes behind schedule is quite alright.

When you meet someone and your palms are sweaty, you:
  • Discretely wipe your hands on your trousers before offering your hand
  • Smile and shake their hand
  • Shake their hand and apologise
Smile and shake their hand. The person you are meeting has no need to hear about perspiration problems and wiping your hands, even discretely, is not very chic.
You are hosting some friends and they bring a bottle of champagne, you:
  • Place it within sight but open yours first
  • Put it away in the kitchen
  • You serve their bottle immediately

You serve their bottle immediately. It is appropriate to taste the champagne you are given immediately and to thank your guest (discretely) in order not to embarrass other guests who may have arrived empty-handed.

Once seated, good manners would be to begin:
  • After saying ‘Bon appétit’
  • As soon as the plates arrive
  • Once the hostess has begun
Once the hostess has begun. As a sign of respect for her effort and the dinner the hostess has cooked, it is a way of thanking her. Furthermore, it is absolutely inappropriate to speak of the body during dinner, as this is an intimate topic.
How do you place your napkin at the dinner table:
  • To the left of your plate
  • Tied around your neck
  • Half folded on your knees

Half folded on your knees. Your napkin is to be used to wipe your mouth before and after drinking. If you are using your cutlery appropriately, you should not need your napkin to wipe your hands… And only once you have finished your meal should you place your napkin to the right of your plate.

During a meal, where should you place your hands:
  • On the table
  • Under the table
  • On your knees

On the table. In France you are required to place your hands on the table, you may slightly overlap them in front of you. At no time should you place your elbows on the table.

During a dinner party, the cutlery on either side of your plate should be used as follows:
  • From the outside towards the plate
  • From the plate out
  • It doesn’t matter
From the outside towards the plate. In French tradition, the cutlery should always be face up and spikes down.
To what side of the guest should you serve the wine?
  • To their left
  • To their right
  • Facing them
To his right. Wine should always be served on the right, without touching the glass and without filling it completely.
Once you finished eating, you should place your cutlery:
  • On both sides of the plate
  • Crossing over each other on the plate
  • On the right side of the plate
On the right side of the plate. You should place your cutlery on the right side of the plate, indicating 4.20 to be quite precise.
When introducing two people who don’t know each other you should introduce:
  • The youngest first
  • The eldest first
  • The lady first and then the man
The youngest first and the man to the lady. The idea is to present the “least important” person to the “most important” one while always staying courteous.
What do you say to a person who sneezes:
  • Bless you
  • Nothing
Nothing. Saying anything, even with the best possible intention, still highlights an act which the other person would have preferred not to have experienced.
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