Fortis fortuna adiuvat, is fortis accusative plural here?

Fortis has different forms for the same conjugation as I see at Wiktionary, and I couldn't find which forms adiuvare takes as an exhaustive list so I couldn't be sure.

I guess because the verb is prefixed with ad, ad-iuvare it is likely for it to take an accusative object?

2 Answers 2


Indeed, it is accusative plural! If you have an edition with long vowels marked, you'll see that this is fortīs, as opposed to nominative or genitive singular fortis.

Ad-, though, isn't the key here. In almost all cases, if a Latin verb takes a subject and an object, the object goes in the accusative case. There are a handful of exceptions that take genitive, dative, or ablative, but they just have to be memorized as exceptions. So if the word were juvat rather than adjuvat, the object would still be accusative—as in Vergil's rendering of this proverb in Aeneid X, audentīs Fortūna juvat.


The entry for adiuvare in L&S indicates that the verb is indeed used with the accusative. The only exception mentioned is the possibility of saying laborem tibi adiuvo, "I help you with work", where the person to benefit is in the dative and the thing they receive help in is in the accusative. This seems to be rare, so as a general rule the person receiving the help goes in the accusative.

As Draconis points out, fortis is indeed the plural accusative here. It looks like the singular genitive but not like a dative of this adjective, so accusative is the only option.

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