Could You Pass Charm School?

Zoe Samuel

Image: 10'000 Hours/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Do you know what the purpose of etiquette is? Etiquette is not just some stuffy set of rules someone made up so we can all point and laugh when someone breaks them. Etiquette is like the laws of the road; they are there to prevent disaster. Etiquette's purpose is to prevent awkwardness by substituting simple rules and guides for interactions that would otherwise be difficult for one or all parties involved.

Awkwardness can come from any quarter, but in situations involving etiquette, it usually comes out of a power dynamic. Some people are allowed to do or say certain things because of their status, while others are not. To avoid confrontations over race or class, there are rules. To avoid confrontations over rudeness specific to a setting, there are rules. To avoid conflicts that could become larger than any family get-together, there are rules. Rules aren't there to oppress anyone, they are there to liberate everyone from having to do or say things that might turn a perfectly lovely wedding reception into a political shouting match.

Given that etiquette covers nearly all manner of human interaction, it is easy to say from your choices where you would stand on the scale of polished to tarnished etiquette. Put your skills to test and see if you'd graduate from charm school!

How should you greet someone you don't know, in a social situation?

When a man and a woman come to a door, who should offer to hold the door first?

What does "saving face" mean?

You arrive for dinner with others, and realize you have brought the book you were reading, without thinking about it. What should you do?

You've been invited to a party but don't know the dress code and are embarrassed about not knowing. What should you do?

The person you are talking to at a party is a boring conversationalist. What strategy would you use to extricate yourself?

You're in a rush and accidentally shove someone too hard. What do you do?

Your friend has turned up to a black tie party without proper attire. What do you do?

Which of these jackets qualifies as black tie?

How likely are you to forget someone's name and then not ask them for it until it's too late?

What must you do when you get an RSVP?

When should you arrive at a party you've been invited to?

When invited to a party, what should you bring?

What should you do after attending a party?

While at a party, you realize you've had too much to drink. What do you do?

What do you do after staying at the house of a friend who employs a household staff?

What do you do after you finish a course at a restaurant?

If you are hosting a party, what should you do for your guests?

What should a man offer to do at a wedding or similar celebration when the dancing starts?

If you experience something like sexual harassment at a wedding or similar celebration, and you freeze in the moment, what should you do after?

In the middle of a conversation, you realize the person you're talking to believes things you strongly disagree with, either politically, religiously or what have you. What should you do?

How should you respond to someone who rudely and repeatedly interrupts you?

You're sharing a car with several people, one of whom lights up a cigarette. What do you do?

You just found out that, of your social circle, you are the only person not invited to a major event held by a friend. What should you do?

You have to write a letter to a peer (someone with a title) you personally know well. How do you address the letter, and the envelope?

How do you introduce guests at a party you are hosting?

You have to cancel on a party you've been invited to, at the last minute. There was an RSVP. What do you do?

Your colleague just had a child! What's the classy thing for you to do?

Someone on the subway shoves you to get on the train. You turn to look and see they are with a child. What do you do?

How should you greet someone you don't know, in a social situation?

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes