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I came through a sentence that comma precedes "in which," but I have heard that no comma precedes "which" that has a preposition before it.

Application of Hennig’s winnow therefore supported a different cladogram , in which tarantulas and their allies (Mygalomorphae) are more closely related to typical spiders (Araneomorphae) than they are to the Liphistiidae.

In the above sentence, is comma necessary ?

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  • But if you are going to use a comma, the convention is not to put a space between it and the word that precedes it. ...cladogram, in which...
    – TimR
    Apr 28, 2016 at 11:50
  • It is just a typo.
    – ARYF
    Apr 28, 2016 at 11:52
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    You also put a space before your question mark. The same convention applies there too. If you're going to worry about such stuff, might as well get it right.
    – TimR
    Apr 28, 2016 at 11:53
  • Edit your answer and fix your typos–especially if you've made a typo in the exact thing you're asking about. Apr 28, 2016 at 13:55
  • Also, please provide a link to where you found this sentence. The context could show whether a comma is necessary or not, since this could be a restrictive or non-restrictive relative clause. Apr 28, 2016 at 13:57

1 Answer 1

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Strictly speaking no comma is required. But because there are two fairly long clauses to the sentence, a comma between them provides a convenient separator. It does not change the meaning and is not absolutely necessary, but it makes the long sentence simpler to parse and therefore the meaning is easier to understand.

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  • So are you saying that this rule applies only here or all cases of "in which"?
    – ARYF
    Apr 28, 2016 at 11:50
  • There is no rule that says you must or must not use a comma before in which.
    – Charl E
    Apr 28, 2016 at 12:04
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    So what should I follow?
    – ARYF
    Apr 28, 2016 at 12:12

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