The message that tells us that comments cannot be edited after 5 minutes is like:

Comments may only be edited for 5 minutes.

I noticed that here, the wrong modal is used. The right modal to be used is "can". As it is mentioned here, may is used to ask for permission, while can is used to express ability. Therefore, "can" is the appropriate modal that must be used here. So, the message must be like:

Comments can only be edited for 5 minutes.

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    There is no grammatical error. Consider that the modal verb "can" is also used to express possibility this can (ha!) make the message ambiguous. It's also true that may is considered more polite than can, especially in the US. Many young speakers in the US will ask: "May I leave the table?" Whereas Brits will tend to ask "Can I leave the table?" – Mari-Lou A Jul 17 at 7:07
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    You should post this question on ELL (English for Language Learners) – Mari-Lou A Jul 17 at 7:12
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    @Mari-LouA there are a number of similar posts there already e.g. ell.stackexchange.com/questions/201884/… and also on English e.g. english.stackexchange.com/questions/54340/… – Robert Longson Jul 17 at 7:18
  • @RobertLongson the second link is related but not that helpful, the phrase under discussion is not about asking permission (although my comment included an example, it was only for illustrative purposes) it refers to ability and possibility. There are dozens of similar questions on both English sites, but I think saaranash's question might be well-received on ELL. It would be certainly better than the majority of first posts. – Mari-Lou A Jul 17 at 7:29
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    @Mari-LouA The main point on any site is to search first and include that as your research if you're still unclear. – Robert Longson Jul 17 at 7:30
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    @RobertLongsonto the OP did do their research, they included a link that talks about the differences between "can" and "may". – Mari-Lou A Jul 17 at 7:34
  • Probably i was wrong. This was what was taught to me, so I thought that was an error. if i would have asked my proffesor, he would have said the same thing – saaransh garg Jul 17 at 7:46
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    @saaranshgarg there is English and then there is what they speak in the US. Two different things. Given the site originated in the states and still has a lot of US based employees working on stuff expect more language cringes along the way, no matter what you were taught ... not your fault but not of enough relevance either to have it discussed. Mainly because it most likely won't have a definitive answer. – rene Jul 17 at 7:55
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    For the record: I once edited a post where I changed US spelling to the correct British spelling. I was promptly told to stop doing that. – rene Jul 17 at 7:58
  • Moderators can edit comments after 5 minutes. As such, they can be edited (by anyone), but you the author may not edit them. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 17 at 8:07
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    As far as being taught one way: I definitely understand. I was taught in school that the Oxford comma was absolutely mandatory and that it was an error not to have it, but later learned it's not required. (cc @Mari-LouA) – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jul 17 at 8:09
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    The question is off topic here as the actual question is whether it's grammatically correct, or not. If you'll find enough proof that it's not, then you can ask to change it. You can't decide on your own that it's wrong. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask V2 Jul 17 at 8:10
  • if i would have asked my proffesor, he would have said the same thing If I had asked.... my professor... @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog You the author may not / cannot / are not allowed to edit comments once five minutes have passed. The expressions in bold are basically interchangeable but with subtle differences in tone and, perhaps, meaning. – Mari-Lou A Jul 17 at 9:01
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    And finally: the reason that "may" is correct here is that is is a matter of permission. There's no technical reason that they cannot be edited after 5 minutes; ordinary users simply lack permission to do so. "can" would also be correct, though, because they are also being prevented by the system from doing so. However, since it's not wrong to use "may," there's no reason to make a change to the message. – Ryan M Jul 17 at 9:19
  • @Mari-Lou A: I have added proffesor to my list. Lookup. – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Jul 19 at 9:49

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