Definition 2022



See also: illa and Illa



-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) -> salailla (to be secretive)
  2. Forms action verbs which denote an activity closely related with a noun.
    auto (car) -> autoilla (to drive a car) (but not ˣautota)
    maja (hut) -> majailla (to stay temporarily) (but not ˣmajata)
    pallo (ball) -> palloilla (to play a ballgame) (but not ˣpallota)

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Finnish_words_suffixed_with_-illa'>Finnish words suffixed with -illa</a>

See also

  • -skella


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




  1. nominative feminine singular of -illus
  2. nominative neuter plural of -illus
  3. accusative neuter plural of -illus
  4. vocative feminine singular of -illus
  5. vocative neuter plural of -illus
  6. ablative feminine singular of -illus



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


-illa (masculine counterpart -illo)

  1. Added to feminine nouns to denote a diminutive form.

Usage notes

  • 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 below), 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 terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Spanish_words_suffixed_with_-illa'>Spanish words suffixed with -illa</a>