What is the difference between manners and etiquette? How do you decide where each one should be used? Please differentiate with an appropriate example.

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    Hello and welcoe to the site. Did you do a basic research e.g. in a good dictionary like Collins or Merriam Webster? Please edit your question with your findings and we'll continue from there. You might want to read this post on meta on how to ask a good question.
    – Stephie
    Mar 18, 2015 at 9:12
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    Don't select an answer in hurry. Let other native speakers come and share their knowledge. ELL is a great platform for learning all the aspects of English language. Welcome!
    – Rucheer M
    Mar 18, 2015 at 9:28
  • @Stephie I did some research but not on the dictionaries as prescribed by you. Also i don't have that much time and if one is supposed to do that much research than there is no point to join this forum.
    – Divyanshu
    Mar 18, 2015 at 9:28
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    RE: if one is supposed to do that much research than there is no point to join this forum. It only takes a couple minutes to look a word up in a dictionary, and it only takes a few more to share what you found. The reason we ask is simple: If people would rather ask here than use a dictionary, then soon the board would be flooded with questions that most people could have solved by themselves if they just took the time to do a little research. This is not "English Language Concierge." You can find out more about ELL etiquette here.
    – J.R.
    Mar 18, 2015 at 9:41
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    Just to be clear, I think this is a very good question – but I think it could be a much better question if you followed the guidance that is presented in the Details, please link. You might also want to wait for awhile before you accept an answer.
    – J.R.
    Mar 18, 2015 at 9:44

5 Answers 5


A manner is a way of doing something. The way in which any individual behaves is described generally as his manner. You often see phrases such as "He has the manner of a gentleman". It describes a person's bearing as well as behaviour.

Etiquette is a set of rules defining the manner in which certain events or situations should be performed. Thus, etiquette defines good manners.

If an individual always performs certain acts in a certain way, then that is described as a mannerism - an individual characteristic.

In summary, Etiquette is the set of rules, Manners are the actions.
It is good manners to follow the proper etiquette for any situation.


Etiquette - This is a set of rules, which various parts of the world follow. These 'rules' are little things that tell you what is proper.

Example: You use different types of knifes and forks for different types of food. This shows proper etiquette. It is not a bad manner to use your salad knife to cut your fish, you would just not be following the etiquette.

Manners - Manners are what you do in a specific way to be polite, courteous, etc., Showing proper manners means making the person around you not to feel bad.

Example: You say “please” and “thank you”, this shows your good manners. You are not 'showing etiquette' while doing this.

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    Your answer suggests this, but I think it's worth mentioning explicitly, based on the wording in the O.P.'s original title: manners is seldom said in the singular, and etiquette is almost always said in the singular. So, it's proper manners, but appropriate etiquette.
    – J.R.
    Mar 18, 2015 at 9:47

IMO, a good etiquette training brings you remarkable aplomb to tackle any situation without any hassles. Say, you are at someone's funeral; now, here, you require good etiquette that'll teach you how to behave at this sorrowful event.

Etiquette is more generalized, whereas manners talks about specific rules of conduct.

Say, in which order you take food (table precedence?, I'm not sure) requires etiquette. But then, you should not stare at others eating requires manners.


The context of good manners is daily life (greeting, cleaning what you leave behind, being courteous and polite, no foul language), and etiquette takes place in more solemn events (weddings, theaters, banquets, fancy restaurants, diplomatic/religious/political events), being more common in upper class or special environments.

  • That is just more of what I said. The difference lies in the environment and periodicity where you are expected to practice those things. We could make a detailed list of the specifics, but we are smarter than that.@Chenmunka
    – Josh
    Mar 18, 2015 at 12:40
  • @Josh - We don't need to make an exhaustive list of all the specifics, but a few examples woven into your very brief answer certainly wouldn't hurt.
    – J.R.
    Mar 18, 2015 at 15:11

Manners is the inbuilt way you conduct yourself in various situations whereas etiquette is vocal or physical expression of a set of rules not necessarily imbibed in the person,i.e., difference between a born gentleman and a groomed gentleman.

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    No. Manners are taught. May 17, 2016 at 7:29

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