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I saw an answer in a old thread that I do not understand. I made a comment yesterday asking the user to explain a particular step. But I realize now that the thread is old and the user is no longer active on MSE. Am I allowed to post a new question, with a link to that particular answer and seek help from others in understanding it?

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Absolutely.

Linking back to the old answer (not just the question; the URL for the answer itself can be obtained by clicking the share tool between the answer and the answerer's profile name) provides context, and helps those who will explain it.

You should also quote the relevant section of the old answer, and describe which parts of it don't make sense, and why not.

Your new question should then appear as a linked question on the old one (a stronger association than being a related question).

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I have asked the question now. Hoping it doesn't get closed! $\endgroup$ – Srini Dec 28 '16 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Srini It would only get closed if it is an exact duplicate with nothing new to add. If it is merely asking for explanation on an answer and the reasoning behind that answer than I think most people will think "well the questions will obviously similar for that reason" and logically not vote to close. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck Jan 1 '17 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ Actually it will appear as a "Linked" question, which is a different list from and appears above the "Related" questions list. $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jan 6 '17 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ @wildcard yes, that. $\endgroup$ – Nij Jan 6 '17 at 1:30

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