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Video:Learn Formal Silverware Functions

with Bonnie Zaiss

Knowing the formal silverware functions is important when attending a formal dinner. Learn the formal silverware functions so that you're prepared for your next dining event.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn Formal Silverware Functions

Hello, I'm Bonnie Zaiss for About.com. You're attending a formal dinner party and there are 3 forks at your setting. How do you know which one to use first?

There are some standards on what kind of silverware is set for a formal dinner function. In general, you start from the outside and work your way in. Here are the basic silverware functions.

Formal Silverware Functions for the Left Side of the Dinner Plate

At the top above your dinner plate, your bread plate will have its own butter knife. Its only function is to butter your bread. Simply leave it on the bread plate when done.

To the far left of your dinner plate is the salad fork. It's smaller than the dinner fork and is used with your salad and will be removed with your salad plate.

Next in is the dinner fork for your main entrée. Lastly is the dessert fork.

Formal Silverware Functions for the Right Side of Your Dinner Plate

On the far right is a soup spoon. It could be a tablespoon or a larger, rounder spoon then your standard size spoon.

As you work your way into the dinner plate on the right side center is a standard spoon used for dessert if needed and/or coffee or tea.

Your knife is to the right of the dinner plate and is used on your entrée.

Depending on what is served and the number of courses, you may see additional silverware such as a fish fork for a 3-course meal or a steak knife for beef.

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