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I want to know whether the following phrase makes sense

The letter is about asking permission for eating during the class time.

I asked a native speaker and he answered yes, it is easy to understand, but he also recommended the following rephrasing:

The letter asks if students are allowed to eat during the class time.

But I think that these two phrases convey different messages; the student who writes the letter already knows that eating during the class time is banned, but in the second phrase, it seems that he doesn't know it and only ask a question to become aware.
Am I correct?

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Yes, I agree with the distinction that you make between your phrasing and the phrasing that the native speaker recommended.

But if the student knows that eating is forbidden, I think that this wording would still be an improvement: "The letter is to ask permission to eat during class time."

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