See also: آلا, ألا, and الا

Arabic edit

 
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Etymology edit

Cognate with Ge'ez አላ (ʾälla), Hebrew אֶלָּא (ʾellā).

Conjunction edit

إِلَّا (ʔillā)

  1. (in affirmatives and rhetorical questions) except (for), save (for), but (for), barring; other than, besides, apart from
    رَأَيْتُهُمْ جَمِيعًا إِلّا إِيَّاكَ.
    I could see them all except you.
    • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 21:22:
      لَوْ كَانَ فِيهِمَا ءَالِهَةٌ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ لَفَسَدَتَا فَسُبْحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
      law kāna fīhimā ʔālihatun ʔillā l-lahu lafasadatā fasubḥāna l-lahi rabbi l-ʕarši ʕammā yaṣifūna
      Had there been within them [i.e., the heavens and earth] any gods besides Allāh, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allāh, the Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.
  2. (in negatives) no more than; nothing more than; nothing but or no one but; only, but
    الصِّحَّةُ تَاجٌ عَلَى رُؤُوسِ الْأَصِحَّاءِ لَا يَرَاهُ إِلَّا الْمَرْضَى.
    aṣ-ṣiḥḥatu tājun ʕalā ruʔūsi l-ʔaṣiḥḥāʔi lā yarāhu ʔillā al-marḍā.
    Health is a crown that is on the heads of the healthy, which only the ill can see.
    • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 81:27:
      إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ 27 لِمَن شَاء مِنكُمْ أَن يَسْتَقِيمَ 28 وَمَا تَشَاؤُونَ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَاء اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ 29
      27 This is but a reminder to the worlds, 28 to those of you who wish to straighten out themselves, 29 and you never wish it except when God wishes it, the Lord of the Worlds.

Usage notes edit

When the sentence is positive, the excluded noun is always accusative.

  1. نَجَحَ ٱلطُّلَّابُ إِلَّا ٱلْكَسْلَانَ.
    najaḥa ṭ-ṭullābu ʔillā l-kaslāna.
    The students succeeded except for the lazy ones.

When the sentence is negative, the excluded noun can be accusative or it can follow the declension of the included noun as it behaves as a substitute for it.

  1. مَا فَشِلَ ٱلطُّلَّابُ إِلَّا ٱلْكَسْلَانَ / ٱلْكَسْلَانُ.
    mā fašila ṭ-ṭullābu ʔillā l-kaslāna / l-kaslānu.
    The students didn't fail except for the lazy ones.
    لَا آكُلُ ٱلْفَوَاكِهَ إِلَّا تُفَّاحًا.
    lā ʔākulu l-fawākiha ʔillā tuffāḥan.
    I don't eat fruit except for apples.
    لَنْ أَذْهَبَ لِأَيِّ أَصْدِقَاءٍ إِلَّا مُحَمَّدًا / مُحَمَّدٍ.
    lan ʔaḏhaba liʔayyi ʔaṣdiqāʔin ʔillā muḥammadan / muḥammadin.
    I won't get to any friends except for Muhammad.

When the excluded noun isn't a member of the included group, it's always accusative.

  1. جَاءَ ٱلْمُسَافِرُونَ إِلَّا حَقَائِبَهُمْ.
    jāʔa l-musāfirūna ʔillā ḥaqāʔibahum.
    The passengers arrived without their luggage.
    مَا حَضَرَ ٱللَّاعِبُونَ إِلَّا ٱلْمُدَرِّبَ.
    mā ḥaḍara l-lāʕibūna ʔillā l-mudarriba.
    The players didn't come but their trainer did.

In negative sentences, the included noun can sometimes be omitted. Then the noun following إِلَّا (ʔillā) has to be in the case that the included noun would have had if it had been mentioned, as it behaves as a substitute for it.

  1. مَا كَتَبَ ٱلْوَاجِبَ إِلَّا طَالِبٌ.
    mā kataba l-wājiba ʔillā ṭālibun.
    Nobody wrote the homework except for one student.
    مَا كَتَبَ ٱلطَّالِبُ إِلَّا وَاجِبَهُ.
    mā kataba ṭ-ṭālibu ʔillā wājibahu.
    The student wrote nothing except for his homework.
    مَا كَتَبَ ٱلطَّالِبُ إِلَّا بِقَلَمِهِ.
    mā kataba ṭ-ṭālibu ʔillā biqalamihi.
    The student wrote with nothing except for his pen.

If we mention the included noun, the excluded noun can follow its declension or it can be accusative.

  1. مَا كَتَبَ ٱلْوَاجِبَ أَيُّ طُلَّابٍ إِلَّا طَالِبٌ / إِلَّا طَالِبًا.
    mā kataba l-wājiba ʔayyu ṭullābin ʔillā ṭālibun / ʔillā ṭāliban.
    No student wrote the homework except for one.
    مَا كَتَبَ ٱلطَّالِبُ أَيَّ وَاجِبٍ إِلَّا وَاجِبَهُ.
    mā kataba ṭ-ṭālibu ʔayya wājibin ʔillā wājibahu.
    The student wrote no homework except for his one.
    مَا كَتَبَ ٱلطَّالِبُ بِأَيِّ قَلَمٍ إِلَّا بِقَلَمِهِ / إِلَّا قَلَمَهُ.
    mā kataba ṭ-ṭālibu biʔayyi qalamin ʔillā biqalamihi / ʔillā qalamahu.
    The student wrote with no pen except for his one.

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Azerbaijani: illa
  • Northern Kurdish: île, îlla, îlle
  • Ottoman Turkish: الا (illā)
    Turkish: illa, ille
  • Persian: الا (illâ)
  • Swahili: ila

Preposition edit

إِلَّا (ʔillā)

  1. (in affirmatives and rhetorical questions, rare) except (for), save (for), but (for), barring; other than, besides, apart from
    • (Can we date this quote?), Sayyid al-Naqšabandī (lyrics and music), “مَوْلَاي (mawlāy) [My Lord]”:
      مولاي إني ببابك قد بسطت يدي
      من لي ألوذ به إلاك يا سندي
      My Lord, I sit at your door, with arms outspread.
      Who is there for me to whom I may flee,
      Save for you, my prop?
  2. (in negatives, rare) no more than; nothing more than; nothing but or no one but; only, but

Moroccan Arabic edit

Etymology 1 edit

From a dialectal variant of Arabic إِذَا (ʔiḏā).

Pronunciation edit

Conjunction edit

إلا (ʔila)

  1. Alternative form of إدا (ʔida)

Etymology 2 edit

From Arabic إِلَّا (ʔillā).

Pronunciation edit

Conjunction edit

إلا (ʔilla)

  1. except, save
  2. unless, if not

South Levantine Arabic edit

Etymology edit

From Arabic إِلَّا (ʔillā).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ʔil.la/, [ˈʔɪl.la]
  • (file)

Conjunction edit

إلّا (ʔilla)

  1. unless, if not
  2. (after negation) except, only
    Synonyms: غير (ḡēr), ما عدا (ma-ʕada)
  3. (telling time) minus
    الساعة خمسة إلا تلت.
    is-sāʕa ḵamse ʔilla tult
    It's twenty to five
    (”The hour is five minus one third”)
    .
  4. and there, lo and behold