If "as shown in Figure" appears at the end of the sentence, is it always necessary to put a comma before "as", or there are conditions in which we do not use commas?

Example: These constraints give rise to a graph with three edges, as shown in Figure 1.

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  • To many questions about where and when to use commas already. – Blessed Geek Jun 30 '14 at 1:29

A comma represents the end of a breath group, with associated intonation and pause.

If you don't end a breath group after "edges", it is perfectly grammatical, but parses as

These constraints give rise to [a graph with three edges as shown in Figure 1].

which implies that it is the three edges that are shown in Figure 1, rather than the (more usual) meaning that the graph is shown in Figure 1. In practice, there might not be much difference between the meanings in this case, but in other instances they could be very different.

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    As a non-native speaker, I usually find it difficult to know where to put breathing pause? Do you think it is grammatically safe to always put comma before "as shown in Figure". I usually explain a figure completely, and then at the end, write "as shown in Figure". – user81985 Jun 29 '14 at 20:49
  • Yes, I think it is always safe, and much more common, to put a comma there. As I said, if you don't, the small clause shown in Figure 1 may be interpreted as applying to the last noun phrase, rather than the whole sentence. – Colin Fine Jun 29 '14 at 20:54
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    It will almost always be correct to include the comma, but it will often be incorrect to leave it out. – DrRandy Jun 29 '14 at 20:58

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