I am writing a technical report and need some help for verifying the very first sentence:

"This report presents an effective approach to mitigating the prolonged issue of the insufficient wet etching selectivity between metal and oxide."

For the first the, should I use "a" instead?

For the second the, can I omit it? Does "selectivity" require an article?

Many thanks in advance!

  • Thanks much for reading my question. I believe most of the posts here came in when people have troubles in preparing some sorts of documents or presentations. I was not sure about the correct way to use the article so I tried to provide the information as much as possible. Of course, I don't have to mention that I am writing a report and in that way would you think this is not a "proof-reading" question instead? Thanks again for reading. I still think this is an appropriate question to ask in such a "English Language & USAGE" forum.
    – kent
    Commented Sep 6, 2020 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


Is there only one issue of insufficient wet etching selectivity? If so the first "the" is correct. If there are more than one issue, use "a".

If the insufficiency of wet etching is a widely known specific problem known to the readers you could use the second "the" as a demonstrative reference to the problem. Otherwise, omit it.

This answer is consistent with a good summary that appears in


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