Mais curto: shorter or shortest?

both ‘shorter’ and ‘shortest’ are ‘mais curto’, how to determine which is which based on the context?

@daaaarcy, “mais curto” means “shorter”. Only “o mais curto” means “the shortest” → the definite article is critical :slight_smile:

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I think I might understand your confusion here. When ‘mais curto’ follows a noun it looks like it means just shorter rather than shortest. As Joseph says it is the definite article (which may come before the noun’ that conveys the meaning of the shortest. For example:
Por aqui é mais curto (This way is shorter)
Por aqui é o caminho mais curto (This way is the shortest way.
It is the definite article before caminho that turns it into the superlative.
Hope this makes sense.