Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Proto-Finno-Ugric negative verb stem *e- ~ *ä- ~ *a-. Cognates include Estonian ära and Northern Sami ale.

This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.


  • IPA(key): /ˈælæˣ/, [ˈælæ(ʔ)]
  • Hyphenation: ä‧lä



  1. The second-person singular form of the negation verb in imperative, do not/don’t (addressing one person):
    • Juokse! -> Älä juokse!
      • Run! -> Do not run!

Usage notes[edit]

  • Älä is used with the connegative form of the main verb. That form is identical to the second-person singular imperative present form and to the indicative present connegative form.


  • The negative verb has no infinitive form. The negative verb is conjugated only in person, not in tense or mood. (For the second person singular of the negative verb in the indicative, conditional and potential mood, see et.)
singular plural
first person (imperative) älkäämme
second person (imperative) älä; (optative) ällös (imperative) älkää
third person (imperative) älköön (imperative) älkööt



  1. don't!, stop!
  2. (the speaker astonished) really?
  3. (colloquial, indicates agreement on the preceding statement) tell me about it! I know, right?
  4. (colloquial, sarcastic) you don't say, (oh) really?