How to Follow Knife and Fork Language


Did you know that Knife and Fork language helps the waiter to know whether you are still eating or are finished? During dinning conversation with others you may take a break from eating for a moment, but you want to continue eating which needs to be communicated to the waiter, so that your half eaten meal not to be removed because the waiter assumed you were finished. You can follow some Knife and Fork utensil placement codes, which will help in communicating your eating status.

1. Knife and Fork utensil placement codes 

When it comes to dining, there are two styles of eating: American and Continental. Both styles of dining are correct. You should be comfortable with your choice of style of eating, be consistent; avoid switching back and forth between courses.


Knife Fork Language 1

 Ready for a second plate

Knife Fork Language 2


Knife Fork Language 3


Knife Fork Language 4

Don’t like

Knife Fork Language 5

2. American Style Of Eating

American style of eating is also sometimes known as “the zigzag method”, which is used by Americans and Canadians. For right hand person, the knife is hold in the right hand and the fork in the left hand (for left handle person opposite is done). After the knife is used to cut the food while the fork holds the food, the knife is placed near the top of the plate, blade facing in. The fork is then switched to the right hand and used to pick up the piece of food, tines up.

Knife Fork Language 6Resting Position:

When you pause during eating but have not finished, the utensils are placed in the “resting position” with the knife placed on the right side of the plate in the 4 o’clock position, blade in, and the fork placed on the left side in the 8 o’clock position, tines up. This alerts your waiter that you’re not finished.


Knife Fork Language 7Finished Position:

When you’ve finished eating, the knife and fork are placed side by side on the right side of the plate in the 4 o’clock position, with the fork on the inside, tines up, and the knife on the outside, blade in. This position non-verbally alerts the wait staff to clear your plate.


3. Continental Style Of Eating

Continental style of eating used by the Europeans, which is thought to be a more graceful way of eating, but it does take practice. The fork stays in the left hand, with the tines pointed down, and the knife is held by the right hand. The food is then speared by the fork and conveyed to the mouth.

Knife Fork Language 8Resting Position:

The knife and fork are crossed in the center of the plate, fork tines pointed down.




Knife Fork Language 9Finished Position:

The position is the same as in the American style with one exception: the knife and fork are placed side by side on the right side of the plate at the 4 o’clock position, with the fork on the inside, but the tines are down (versus up), and the knife on the outside, blade in.

About the author

Rajesh Giribuwa

Rajesh Giribuwa is an IT professional, motivational leader, blogger, author & founder of TheBlogOn. Rajesh is passionate about blogging on Interesting Tips, Tricks, and How-To Guides on various topics like Digital, Lifestyle, Health, Food, and Travel to provide access to comprehensive advice to people to improve their lives every day, so that they can utilize the maximum time in doing what they like.

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