See also: illa, Illa, and -illä



-illa f

  1. Diminutive suffix for feminine nouns.
  2. Suffix for feminine nouns which means "type of".

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit



Originally a variant of -ella used on verbs ending in -ata, -ota, -ätä, having developed by vowel contraction: -Aðele- (-oðele-) > -A.ele- (-o.ele-) > -Aile- (-oile-). Denominal use has been innovated in literary Finnish in the 20th century.


-illa (front vowel harmony variant -illä)

  1. Forms frequentative verbs. The resulting verb often describes a more or less leisurely or long-lasting activity, or an activity that is not overly goal-oriented.
    salata (to keep secret) + ‎-illa → ‎salailla (to be secretive)
  2. Forms action verbs which denote an activity closely related with a noun.
    auto (car) + ‎-illa → ‎autoilla (to drive a car) (but not ˣautota)
    maja (hut) + ‎-illa → ‎majailla (to stay temporarily) (but not ˣmajata)
    pallo (ball) + ‎-illa → ‎palloilla (to play a ballgame) (but not ˣpallota)

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit


  • Hakulinen, Lauri. 1941–2000. Suomen kielen rakenne ja kehitys ('The Structure and Development of the Finnish Language'). Helsinki: Otava/Helsingin yliopisto.



Suffix 1Edit


  1. inflection of -illus:
    1. nominative/vocative feminine singular
    2. nominative/accusative/vocative neuter plural

Suffix 2Edit


  1. ablative feminine singular of -illus


Alternative formsEdit

  • -illo (with masculine nouns)


From Old Spanish -iella, from Latin -ella(m).


-illa f (plural -illas)

  1. Added to feminine nouns to denote a diminutive form.
    Synonyms: -ita, -cita
    Coordinate term: -illo

Usage notesEdit

  • If the noun has a final vowel (usually -a), it is dropped before adding -illa.
  • In most cases, -illa is used simply to indicate a small or endeared thing, without changing the basic meaning of the noun; however, in some cases, it is used to effect a greater change in meaning, such as bombilla (light-bulb), from bomba (bomb).
  • Different nouns tend to prefer different diminutive suffixes (see synonyms), though some nouns accept multiple diminutives and there is often regional or personal variation.
  • For masculine nouns ending in “-a”, there is some alternation between the gender-reflecting diminutive -illo and the ending-reflecting diminutive -illa. When the latter is used, -ill- may be considered an infix.

Derived termsEdit