Manners conversation questions

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Some of these questions refer to actions which are only polite or impolite in certain parts of the world or amongst certain groups. Are these activities polite? (Some of these may seem a bit weird, but they are all polite/impolite somewhere.)

  • Say “Thank you” when you hand over money in a shop.
  • Ask someone how much they earn.
  • Arrive 30 minutes late.
  • Yawn in public.
  • Say “I’m going for a pee”.
  • In the age of equal rights - is it still necessary for men to hold the door open for ladies and pay for their drinks?
  • Begin speaking before another person has stopped. (Or speak simultaneously.)
  • Cross your legs in front of your boss.
  • Comb your hair in public.
  • Pick your nose.
  • Scratch yourself.
  • Whisper to someone in front of other people.
  • Put your feet up on the table or a chair.
  • Take your shoes off when you enter a house.

Eating and drinking[edit]

  • Place a loaf of bread (or a bread roll) upside-down on the table.
  • Wipe your plate clean with bread.
  • Peel an orange with your hands.
  • In a restaurant, eat an apple with a knife and fork.
  • Eat chicken with your hands in a restaurant.
  • Fill a wine-glass to the brim.
  • Put your elbows on the table during a meal.
  • Speak during a meal.
  • Speak while you are eating.
  • Speak with your mouth full.
  • Put your hands below the table while you are seated at the table during a meal.
  • Take a bite out of your piece of bread (or a bread roll) and put it back on the table.
  • Use your hand to remove food from around your mouth (to wipe your mouth with your hand)
  • Dunk biscuits or toast in coffee before eating it.
  • Burp.
  • Always eat in a plate
  • Do not spill food or drinks anywhere
  • Sit straight


  • Smoking during a meal.
  • Smoking in a restaurant.
  • Smoking in someone’s house.
  • Smoking in the car.

See also[edit]