Cue vs Queue

The words cue and queue sound alike but have different spellings and meanings. They are what we call homophones. To avoid being confused, we will help you determine the differences between these two terms so you can utilize them properly in your writing.

The word cue is most commonly used as a noun referring to “a signal, such as a word, phrase, or bit of stage business, to a performer to begin a specific speech or action” or “feature indicating the nature of something perceived.”

Meghan Markle Takes A Style Cue From Princess Diana And Kate Middleton
Huffpost Canada

Windrush should be the cue for a rethink on immigration policy
The Times

Whoopi Goldberg Scolds Aziz Ansari Accuser: ‘Non-Verbal Cues’ Are Not Enough
Daily Beast

As a noun, it may also pertain to “a leather-tipped tapering rod for striking the cue ball as in billiards and pool.”

Why was Luca Brecel using TWO cues at the Masters against Mark Allen? Reason revealed

Borrowed cue helps Matheson win national pool title
The Southland Times

Man blinded student with pool cue, court hears
Oxford Mail

It may also function as a verb meaning “to give a cue to” or “to insert into a continuous performance.”

Astronauts’ circulation woes can cue better health for all
Medical Xpress

After being cued to visualize the memories connected with their items, participants used the art supplies to depict those memories on the first panel of their board.
Chicago Tribune

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Cues the Madness this Season
Restaurant News

On the other hand, the term queue most commonly functions as a noun referring to “a line or sequence of people or vehicles awaiting their turn to be attended to or to proceed” or “a list of data items, commands, etc., stored so as to be retrievable in a definite order, usually the order of insertion.”

Two Pommie Sheilas: Perth’s love of a queue leaves beauty spots begging
The West Australian

Guru: At Last! A Tool To Search an Output Queue!
IT Jungle

Unisa: We’ll Manage The Queues Properly and Avoid a Stampede
Eyewitness News

It may also be used as a verb meaning “take one’s place in a queue” or “to arrange or form in a queue.”

Crowds at Rodney Parade as County fans queue for FA Cup tickets
South Wales Argus

Liverpool fans still queuing at half-time for Steven Gerrard’s Anfield debut as manager
Liverpool Echo

First iPhone X buyer in Indonesia queued from 6 a.m.
Jakarta Post

After discussing the differences between the cue and queue, you should now be able to distinguish between the two and use them accurately in your sentences. Keep in mind that cue either pertains to a signal or a rod for billiards and pool while queue relates to a line or forming one.