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Table Setting Basic and Simple

Table Setting Basic and Simple

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I have seen many examples of fancy formal table settings, but never a simple setting for a family dinner. We do not have bread with our dinner, and often neither salad nor soup. Would you please tell me what a very basic plain table setting looks like with just a plate, fork, knife, and napkin? Is it okay to have the fork and knife sit together on the napkin?



Dear Wondering,

For an informal simple table setting at home, the fork and knife can sit on the napkin off to the right if you like. However, generally a basic table setting has the knife to the right of the dinner plate and the fork to the left of the plate. The napkin can be placed on the plate, under the knife, or to the left of the fork. The diagram above shows one basic simple table setting.