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Suppose an answer provided by somebody else requires clarification. How do I ask them to clarify their answer?

Note: The original question need not be mine.

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Leave a comment, with details what you don't get. Example:… – om-nom-nom Apr 6 '12 at 17:40
possible duplicate of How do comments work? – Cody Gray Apr 6 '12 at 17:48
possible duplicate of How does "Reputation" work? – John Saunders Apr 6 '12 at 18:34
@JohnSaunders How does this relate at all to how reputation works? Simply that you need some to comment? That doesn't address in any way how to get more clarification. – Gaffi Apr 6 '12 at 19:26
I must have hit the wrong button. I meant "How do comments work?" – John Saunders Apr 7 '12 at 1:09
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The correct way is to add a comment to the post you don't understand, but your reputation on Stack Overflow doesn't allow you do add comments, as your reputation should be at least 50, to comment on any post. As for your actual reputation, you can comment on your posts, or on the answers given for your questions.

Don't write what should be a comment as answer, as that is reserved for what answers the question; asking more details is not an answer.

If you can ask a question that is different from the already asked (and by different I mean a question that would not be seen as duplicate), then you could ask a new question, as registered users who are not blocked from asking questions can always ask a new question (with a limit per month, as far as I recall).
If you ask a new question:

  • Make it independent from the other one; in the body of the question don't write "See answer for [link to the other question]."
  • As you are asking a question about a solution you read, report what you have tried. Did you try any other solution, or apply the described solution in a different way?
  • Make the question specific for your case; describe any detail that could help in making the question different from the existing one.
  • Eventually give a link to the other question, and describe in what the other question is different from yours; this could avoid your question is seen as a duplicate.

Consider that your question could still be closed as duplicate.

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That's what are comments for, so just use them. You don't even need to @mention them, they will be notified automatically

Unfortunately, you need at least 50 reputation (on Stack Overflow) in order to be able to comment everywhere. If the question is yours, you can comment on it, though

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I don't see a comment link. Is that because I am not the person asking the question? – Marc Sherman Apr 6 '12 at 17:46
@MarcSherman no that's because of low reputation… – om-nom-nom Apr 6 '12 at 17:49
@om-nom just edited ;) – Martin. Apr 6 '12 at 17:49
Because of my low reputation should I create a brand new question that asks for clarification? – Marc Sherman Apr 6 '12 at 17:51
@Marc no. Just comment on your question/answer. You're allowed to do that on your own questions – Martin. Apr 6 '12 at 18:43

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