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こんばんは。I am new to learning Japanese and this website. I usually try to learn things of my own initiative, by searching up specific things I don't understand and trying to make sense of them myself. However, since I began teaching myself this language I have begun to come across many roadblocks and such with slang, colloquial expressions and the like, so I've come to the conclusion that I really do need help with these specific problems.

With that, my problem at the moment is that I came across the phrase こんなことが、あっていいのか……?which I can tell means something along the lines of "These kinds of events... are they really okay?" but I can not for the life of me figure out what the あって means in this case. I've heard of あっての meaning something like "thanks to X, Y" and I know that the て form of ある would be あって, but it doesn't seem like either of these things are related to this situation. Any help is greatly appreciated! ありがとございます!

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In this context, 「て」 = 「ても」. In informal speech, 「て」 is often used instead of 「ても」.

What is 「ても」, then? It is a compound of two particles used to express "permission" or "tolerance". Both of the following phrases mean "It is OK to ~~", "It is OK if ~~" with the first one being more informal than the second.

「~~て(も)いい」

「~~て(も)かまわない」

Thus, your phrase 「こんなことが、あっていいのか……?」 means:

"Is it OK (Should it be allowed) if something like this happens?".

The antonymous expressions ("It is not OK to ~~"), in the order of informality, are:

「~~てはいけない」

「~~てはならない」

Note that in the negative forms, the 「は」 in 「ては」 is rarely omitted.

Finally, if you want to speak and write "natural" Japanese, you do not say ありがとう before someone actually replies. In Japanese, we say that only when service has been rendered.

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    thank you very much! It is also interesting that I did not come across that sort of nuance with ありがとう before... it seems like you learn some things from attempting to use the language and screwing up that you wouldn't normally learn from exposure, since I've heard the phrase a million times in anime and the like and never clued in to this fact. Your post was extremely helpful.ありがとう。 – Cole Fudge Sep 6 '14 at 3:16

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