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Except on the condition that; except under the circumstances that: "Exceptional talent does not always win its reward unless favored by exceptional circumstances" (Mary Elizabeth Braddon).
Except for; except.

[Middle English unlesse, alteration (influenced by un-, not) of onlesse : on, on; see on + lesse, less; see less.]


(subordinating) except under the circumstances that; except on the condition that: they'll sell it unless he hears otherwise.
rare except
[C14: onlesse, from on on + lesse less; compare French à moins que, literally: at less than]


(ʌnˈlɛs, ən-)

1. except under the circumstances that: We'll be there at nine, unless the train is late.
2. except; but; save: Nothing will come of it, unless disaster.
[1400–50; late Middle English preposition phrase on less,o less(e), earlier upon less on a lesser footing (than)]


You usually use unless to say that something can only happen or be true in particular circumstances. For example, instead of saying 'I will go to France only if the firm pays my expenses', you can say 'I will not go to France unless the firm pays my expenses'. When you are talking about the future, you use the present simple after unless.

We cannot understand disease unless we understand the person who has the disease.

When you are talking about a situation in the past, you use the past simple after unless.

She wouldn't go with him unless I came too.

Be Careful!
Don't use a future form after unless. Don't say, for example, 'I will not go to France unless the firm will pay my expenses'.

You also use unless to mention the only circumstances in which something will not happen or be true. For example, instead of saying 'If we are not told to stop, we will carry on selling the furniture', you can say 'We will carry on selling the furniture unless we are told to stop'.

The mail will go by air unless it is quicker by other means.
We might as well stop unless you've got something else you want to talk about.

Be Careful!
Don't use 'unless' to say that something would happen or be true if particular circumstances did not exist. For example, if you have a cold, don't say 'I would go to the party unless I had this cold'. You say 'I would go to the party if I didn't have this cold'.

She'd be pretty if she didn't wear so much make-up.
إلا إذاإِلاّ إِذاإذا لَم، ما لَم
pokud nepokutnés výjimkouže
med mindremedmindre
osim ako
hacsak nemkivéve ha
nemanema, nema òví aîeins
...이 아니면
išskyrus kaijei nenebent
ja vien... neja... ne
ak ne-pokiaľ ne-s výnimkou, že
razen če
om inte
eğer ... değilsehariç-in dışında-mezse/medikçeolmadıkça
trừ khi


[ənˈles] CONJa menos que + subjun, a no ser que + subjun
unless he comes tomorrowa menos que venga mañana, a no ser que venga mañana
unless I hear to the contrarya menos que me digan lo contrario, a no ser que me digan lo contrario
I won't come unless you phone meno vendré a menos que me llames, no vendré a no ser que me llames
unless I am mistaken, we're lostsi no me equivoco, estamos perdidos
unless otherwise statedde no especificarse lo contrario


[ʌnˈlɛs] conjà moins que ... ne + subj, à moins de + infin
I won't come unless you phone me → Je ne viendrai pas à moins que tu ne me téléphones.
They can't vote unless they have French citizenship → Ils ne peuvent pas voter à moins d'avoir la nationalité française., Ils ne peuvent pas voter à moins qu'ils n'aient la nationalité française.
He was told he would be killed unless he left the area → On lui a dit qu'il serait tué à moins qu'il ne quitte la région.
Unless he comes, we won't be able to start → On ne pourra pas commencer à moins qu'il ne vienne.
I'm not happy unless I ride every day
BUT Je ne suis heureux que si je peux monter à cheval tous les jours.
unless I am mistaken → à moins que je ne me trompe
unless otherwise stated → sauf indication contraire


conjes sei denn; (at beginning of sentence) → wenn … nicht, sofern … nicht; don’t do it unless I tell you tomach das nicht, es sei denn, ich sage es dir; unless I tell you to, don’t do itsofern or wenn ich es dir nicht sage, mach das nicht; unless I am mistaken …wenn or falls ich mich nicht irre; unless otherwise statedsofern nicht anders angezeigt or angegeben; unless there is an interruptionvorausgesetzt, alles läuft ohne Unterbrechung


[ʌnˈlɛs] conja meno che non + sub, se non + indic, a meno di + infin
we won't get there on time unless we leave earlier → non arriveremo in tempo a meno di partire prima or a meno che non partiamo prima
unless otherwise stated → salvo indicazione contraria
unless I am mistaken → se non mi sbaglio


(ənˈles) conjunction
1. if not. Don't come unless I telephone.
2. except when. The directors have a meeting every Friday, unless there is nothing to discuss.


إِلاّ إِذا pokud ne medmindre es sei denn εκτός αν a no ser que ellei à moins que osim ako a meno che もし・・・でなければ ...이 아니면 tenzij med mindre chyba, że a menos que если не om inte นอกจาก olmadıkça trừ khi 除非
References in classic literature ?
I wouldn't want to do any business with that fellow myself, unless I had a fence-post along.
He could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understood, unless it was the mocking-bird that hung on the other side of the door, whistling his fluty notes out upon the breeze with maddening persistence.
But they were not in a situation to suffer their thoughts to dwell on the charms of natural objects; and, as the scout had not found it necessary to cease his culinary labors while he spoke, unless to point out, with a broken fork, the direction of some particularly obnoxious point in the rebellious stream, they now suffered their attention to be drawn to the necessary though more vulgar consideration of their supper.
Thorndike, unaccustomed to cross the pavement to his office unless escorted by bank messengers and plain-clothes men, felt the room growing rapidly smaller; the figure of the truculent Greek loomed to heroic proportions.
But I was not born a gentleman; neither have I lived like one," said Holgrave, slightly smiling; "so, my dear madam, you will hardly expect me to sympathize with sensibilities of this kind; though, unless I deceive myself, I have some imperfect comprehension of them.
Now, why should the whale thus insist upon having his spoutings out, unless it be to replenish his reservoir of air, ere descending for good?
For what this separation is done, I do not know, unless it be to hinder the development of the child's affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child.
In his youth he had lost his mother, and in her place his father had married a witch, who had laid a spell on him that he should turn into a dog, and never be released from the spell unless a Prince of the same name as himself allowed him to sleep at his feet the first night after his marriage.
Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary.
For in those plains and deserts where they engaged in combat and came out wounded, it was not always that there was some one to cure them, unless indeed they had for a friend some sage magician to succour them at once by fetching through the air upon a cloud some damsel or dwarf with a vial of water of such virtue that by tasting one drop of it they were cured of their hurts and wounds in an instant and left as sound as if they had not received any damage whatever.
The truth of this is sufficiently manifest from the single circumstance, that the philosophers of the schools accept as a maxim that there is nothing in the understanding which was not previously in the senses, in which however it is certain that the ideas of God and of the soul have never been; and it appears to me that they who make use of their imagination to comprehend these ideas do exactly the some thing as if, in order to hear sounds or smell odors, they strove to avail themselves of their eyes; unless indeed that there is this difference, that the sense of sight does not afford us an inferior assurance to those of smell or hearing; in place of which, neither our imagination nor our senses can give us assurance of anything unless our understanding intervene.
Before the sentiments impressed on their minds by the mode of their elevation can be effaced by the exercise of power, they will be compelled to anticipate the moment when their power is to cease, when their exercise of it is to be reviewed, and when they must descend to the level from which they were raised; there forever to remain unless a faithful discharge of their trust shall have established their title to a renewal of it.