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I came across こんなことが、あっていいのか……?which means "These kinds of events... are they really okay?" What does the あって mean here? I've heard of あっての meaning "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.

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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, 2014 at 3:16

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