Alternatively, the phrase always fight for what matters most. It’s for an inscription on the back of a necklace, and I have somewhat of a character limit (35 characters, I was told) so I’m trying to keep it brief. That said, I’m not worried if it’s a rough translation or imperfect. I tried my hand at it from the little I know so far and anything would be better than my clumsy attempt, which was pieced together through a lot of Google searches of other translations: Dignum est pro plurimum oportet proeliari.

Very new Latin student here by the way, and I don’t know if this is allowed (I didn’t see anything about it in the rules though I could have missed something) but I would love any recommendations for where to look for good learning resources.

1 Answer 1


I would say:

Ne destiteris ad quod maxime oportet niti.

Although in English, we often use never with negative imperatives, I believe it's less common in Latin.

According to Latin Grammar by Allen and Greenough, the usually way for expressing prohibitions are as follows:

450. Prohibition is regularly expressed in classic prose (1) by nōlī with the infinitive, (2) by cavē with the present subjunctive, or (3) by nē with the perfect subjunctive.

Of these choices, I chose the latter option, i.e., ne with the perfect subjunctive: Ne destiteris.

This form of expression was also used by Cicero:

Ne destiteris ad me quicquid tibi in mentem venerit scribere. (Cic. Att. 9.9.1)

Don't stop writing to me whatever comes to mind.

Cicero also used combination of ad … niti, which means to struggle of fight for something:

Quod quidem ni ita haberet, ut animi immortales essent, haud optimi cujusque animus maxime ad immortalitatem gloriae niteretur. (Cicero, De Senectute, ch. 23 §82)

And, indeed, were it not true that the soul is immortal, it would not be the case that it is ever the souls of the best men that strive most for immortal glory.

  • Very thorough and detailed answer. I never got around to thanking you for your excellent response. Could I trouble you for a more accurate English translation of your chosen wording? I have to confess to a very rudimentary understanding of Latin, which is only one reason your response is invaluable.
    – Percandri
    Nov 27, 2021 at 21:39
  • @Percandri - I believe what you requested is a pretty accurate translation of the Latin. Ne destiteris … niti means "Don't stop fighting", and ad quod maxime oportet means "for what is most necessary." Nov 28, 2021 at 1:27

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