This is a sentence from the article "Travel in Southeast Asia". It is about Laos.

In addition to pagodas and historical sites, Wat Sisaket Temple with its big Buddha image, old Hotai library whose walls are covered with sapphires, and wall paintings are well worth seeing.

In this sentence, I am so confused with the following question:

The wall of Hotai library are covered with ____

Possible answers:

  • sapphires
  • sapphires and wall painting

I wanted to know the usage of comma before "and" in this sentence.

  • 1
    Please look closely at your question. Can see see what is wrong with your use of commas throughout the entire first sentence, and also in the rest of the question? Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 1:16
  • I means ''comma''after the word '' sapphires''.
    – learner
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 3:05
  • I am still hoping that you will look at the commas in the sentence that begins with In addition to pagodas... and that you will see what is wrong with the commas in that sentence! Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 3:15
  • 1
    What is the source? By whom or where written might give insight into the writing style, which is unclear at best. If the Hotai library walls are covered with sapphires and wall paintings, then no comma. Or maybe the wall paintings are a separate item in the list of historical sites, and not related to the sapphires. In that case, leave the comma in. But there are other problems with the sentence that also need to be cleared.
    – user3169
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 3:38
  • @user3169 It's from a Burmese Facebook site for English learners, e.g. here. But I hesitate to add it as a source, because it's not exactly as cited. For instance, the commas have spaces after them! Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


The passage in question is badly written, so it's not surprising that you're confused.

I think "sapphires" is the answer, since the commas here are separating items in a list. So the sapphires are on the walls in the library, and the wall paintings are elsewhere in the temple.

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