Difference Between Cue and Queue

Main Difference – Cue vs Queue

Cue and queue are homophones – they sound alike although they have different meanings and spellings. This is why many people make the mistake of interchanging these two nouns. Cue and queue have totally different meanings; cue is a signal or prompt to do something whereas queue is a line of people waiting for something. This is the main difference between cue and queue.

Difference Between Since and Because - infographic

Cue – Meaning and Usage

Cue refers to a signal prompting an action or event. This word is mainly used in theater performance. In theater, cue is a signal to an actor or another performer to enter or to begin their speech or performance. Cue can also refer to a hint or indication on how to do something or how to behave.

Cue can be used as a noun as well as a verb. As a verb cue refers to give a hint or indication or act as a prompt. Cue also refers to the long straight tapering wooden rod used in games like billiard. Now that you know the meaning of cue, let’s look at its usage:

We took our cue from Jillian and stood very still.  

He started his speech, not heeding the organizer’s cue.

The students were allowed to use cue cards during the presentation.

The poster acted as a visual cue for the speaker.

Eerie music is used to cue the arrival of the villain.

Cued by the lead actor, the supporting cast bowed deeply.

Main Difference - Cue vs Queue

Billiard cue

 

Queue – Meaning and Usage

Queue basically refers to a line of people awaiting something. Queue can be also used to indicate a line of vehicles. However, this word is mainly used in British English. It is not very much used in American English.

The people had queued up for food.

We stood in the queue for half an hour.

A long queue of vehicles had lined up.

Queue has another meaning in computing. It refers to a list of data items, commands, etc., stored so as to be retrievable in a definite order. Queue can also refer to a plait of hair worn at the back.

Difference Between Cue and Queue

Difference Between Cue and Queue

Meaning

Cue refers to a signal or prompt to an event or action or a long stick used in billards.

Queue refers to a line of people waiting for something.

Usage

Cue is used in both British and American English.

Queue is not much used in American English.

Field

Cue is used as a technical term in performance.

Queue is used as a technical term in computing.

 

Image Courtesy:

“Queue” by Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F079012-0030 0 (CC BY-SA 3.0 de) via Commons Wikimedia

“Cue” by MarkBuckawicki – Own work (CC0) via Common Wikimedia 

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.