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If you are having a party, you can call your friends and invite them. You can also send a written invitation which would be more official. Invitations can be written on special cards or by letter. When sent by the mail, they must give the following information: the date, the time, the place, the kind of party, who the party is for, and who is giving the party. The R.S.V.P. meens that you ask those who will receive the invitation to call you or send you a message indicating if they will or will not come. (R.S.V.P. is from French, meaning “Please, answer”).

The form of acceptance or regret depends on the form of invitation received. If you want people to call, you need to include your phone number.

Sometimes the invitation will specify the type of dress — formal or informal.

Formal: “Black tie” means dinner jacket for men,

“White tie” means full evening dress (tails) for men, evening gown for women.

Informal: dark lounge suit for men and elegant (cocktail) dress for

women. Casual: everyday dress.

Thank-you-notes are usually written to thank someone for a gift, or for allowing you to stay several days in one’s home. Some thank-you- notes have a printed message and you can just sign your name. Others do not have a printed message allowing you to write your own.

Party Etiquette

1. On receiving the invitation give your “yes” or “no” answer promptly.

2. Never break an engagement without advance notice. If you cannot make it, write or telephone to express your regret.

3. Do not come before the time indicated in the invitation. Try not to be late. Come on time.

4. Do not shake hands with the hostess, unless she gives hers.

5. Stand up when introduced. Ladies may remain seated.

6. Show your appreciation of the hospitality offered.

7. When leaving a party, thank the host and hostess, say good-bye but do not attract undue attention of the other guests.

8. Do not overstay. Do not trespass on the host hospitality.

9. Do not press refreshments, especially strong drinks upon unwilling guests.

10. The host and hostess should see that nobody is neglected, that all guests are involved in a conversation of a general nature, that all of them are enjoying the party.

11. Write thank-you-notes to thank someone for a gift or for allowing you to stay at the host’s home for several days.

Table Etiquette

1. Do not eat too fast or too slowly, do not chomp while eating.

2. Do not speak with your mouth full.

3. Do not attract undue attention to yourself in public.

4. When eating, take as much as you want, but eat as much as you take.

5. Take a little of every dish that is offered to you.

6. Do not reach across the table. If something is on the other side of the table, say “Would you please pass the salt?”

7. Do not start eating when everyone is served unless the hostess says “Start eating, please, your food might get cold.”

8. When refusing a dish, say “No, thank you.”

9. When accepting a dish, say “Yes, please.” If you want some more of a dish, say “May I have some more meat (fish, salad, cake, etc.)?”

10. Do not leave the spoon in your cup when drinking tea or coffee. Put it on a special stand or on the saucer.

11. Eat cakes with forks, not spoons.

12. To indicate that you have finished (have had enough), place knife and fork on the plate together, not criss-crossed.


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