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The French conjunction sinon -- pronounced "see-no(n)" -- means except, other than; if not; otherwise, or else. It is related to the two separate words that comprise it: si, which means "if", and non, which means "no". So the word is literally translated to mean "if no".
Pourquoi a-t-on pris cette décision, sinon pour nous aider?
Why was this decision made, if not to help us?
Je n'en sais rien, sinon qu'il n'y va pas.
I don't know anything about it, other than that he's not going.
Fais-le, sinon tu ne peux pas sortir ce soir.
Do it, or else you can't go out tonight.