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I am wondering if I need a comma in the following sentence.

To further our understanding of this phenomenon(,) we conducted yet another experiment.

If the sentence was the other way around (We conducted... to further...), I would not use one but with the given order I am not sure whether it may be smart to put one in.

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    I would use a comma here, but I don't think it's obligatory. You don't need one if you move it to the end of the sentence "we conducted... to further our understanding..." – user178049 Jul 8 '17 at 15:51
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    This is a question about style. There are no hard and fast rules governing the comma. The comma in your sentence is useful in separating the clauses, but understand that it is not required. – P. E. Dant Jul 8 '17 at 19:54
  • @P.E.Dant Perhaps you should write that as an answer so we can upvote it. – rjpond Oct 13 '17 at 21:43
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You are correct in putting a comma there. This is because "To further..." is a separate clause. Another example is "In order that we gain a greater understanding,...".

  • You wouldn't use a comma if you say "we conducted yet another experiment to further our understanding of this phenomenon." – user178049 Jul 30 '17 at 0:57
  • No, but the way it is phrased in the question creates the clause "To further our understanding,.." which is much like "In order to further our understanding,..". Both phrases use a comma. – user183590 Jul 30 '17 at 1:04
  • I don't see what you mean by 'in order to..' , but AFAIK, fronted adverbials normally take a comma (though it's not always obligatory). – user178049 Jul 30 '17 at 4:22
  • It's just like how you use a comma with subordinate clauses when they start the sentence ("After ___, we ___") but not when they end the sentence ("We ___ after ___") – eques Aug 29 '17 at 17:33

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