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I am reading a book in which there is the following question:

Et lui aussi il est bilingue ?

I don't understand the usage of "lui" here though. I wonder how the following question is different:

Et aussi il est bilingue ?

Or

Et il aussi est bilingue ?

  • I suppose the nearest translation would be "And that guy, is he bilingual too?" though indeed in English, I feel it would be heavy and the most natural way would simply be "Is he bilingual too?" (the too referring to another person, not to another quality of "he"). – Chop Sep 22 '15 at 5:38
  • @Chop That makes sense. As far as I've understood too, French speakers tend to ask questions in a longer manner compared to the equivalent questions in English. For example, "Where do you study?" is asked this way in French: "Where is it that you study?" (Où est-ce que tu étudies ?) – Meysam Sep 22 '15 at 5:52
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    In casual spoken French, there can be even longer variants, e.g. C'est où, là où tu étudie ?, Où c'est que c'est, [la] où tu étudie ? or that shorter one T'étudie où ?. The "educated" way should have been "Où étudie-tu ?". – jlliagre Sep 22 '15 at 6:33
  • The last proposal is not French at all. You cannot insert an adverb between the subject il and its conjugated verb. – GAM PUB Sep 22 '15 at 6:43
  • @jlliagre To me, it's interesting and really strange that the the casual spoken French is usually longer. – Meysam Sep 22 '15 at 6:44
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The first question is spoken French duplicating the third person pronoun.
It might have been written :

Et lui aussi est bilingue ?

i.e.

(Someone is already bilingual,) is he (another guy) bilingual too ?

Your first alternative would need a comma:

Et aussi, il est bilingue ?

and has a different meaning :

And among other things, is he bilingual?

The second one should be reordered:

Et il est aussi bilingue ?

Here, the question is less precise and its meaning can be either of the previous ones, depending on the context.

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