I'm new to StackExchange, and trying to get a good feel for the difference between commenting and answering, but there are a few points still confusing me and I'd appreciate feedback from the community.
[Also, I apologize if this has been discussed previously. I could not find a normal search feature, but none of the suggested questions appearing after I titled this were pertinent. I'm assuming that means it's fresh.]
The general rule appears to be this: When providing an actual answer, answer. When adding small pieces of information, comment.
Seems simple enough. However, I've come across several comments which do actually seem to answer the question, they just don't make any/many expansions. For example, this question: Grammaticality of “if you have time”. JLG's comment seems to say just about everything there is to say on the subject. What do we do with a question like that which is technically answered but will remain "unanswered" forever? Should/could JLG's comment have been an answer instead?
The other question I have (which I would be surprised to not see discussed anywhere on meta previously, but -- again -- I can not work out searching for the life of me) is why I'm allowed to answer a question but not comment on it. As another example, look at this question here: 'People can be trapped in their cars' means…?. The definition of being trapped is discussed and clarified perfectly well by the existing answer, but part of the question references being caught in a trap. The existing answer does not explain that being caught in a trap is not always the same as simply being trapped. Such a small point certainly doesn't warrant an answer in and of itself, so what are my options? Either I abuse the answer feature as a fancy-comment-feature (I won't, don't worry), or I just sit around and watch the question to see if the point gets clarified before I manage to build up enough reputation to comment on it. Why has the dynamic been set up in this way?
ps. How do I search existing questions? :c
Edit: I'm an idiot -- the search box is up in the navbar, I see it now. Still couldn't find this discussed elsewhere, though, so the rest of the body still holds.