Which fork should you use? Why can't you put your elbows on the table? Where do you put your napkin?
Why should any of this matter?
Originally, etiquette, or manners, was a set standard of social usages, a special code of behavior or courtesy.
Manners have become much more relaxed these days. Etiquette today is based more on treating everyone with kindness, consideration and respect. It is mostly just basic common sense.
By the age of five, when you are entering school, you should know the basics of good manners. From basic table manners to how to properly introduce yourself, and others.
The first place to look for guidance with your manners is your parents. Watch and learn how your parents interact with other people, how they act and react in your home and when you are out and about. Don't be shy to ask Mom or Dad what manners they feel are important.
The standards of manners may change from one home to another. Some people don't mind if you wear a hat in the house, while others want you to remove it when you enter. Some people eat with their fingers, while others prefer you use utensils for all foods.
Manners may also change with different cultures. In some places using a toothpick to clean your teeth is ok - but in New Zealand it is considered very rude.
The important thing is to learn your manners when you are young. If you do they will become automatic and you won't have to think about them at all!
Take the pop quiz to see how much you know about manners or visit these online sites that offer lots of good advice and guidance on manners.