I think it's the lack of plurality of the word number. "The" is also our plural article.
The number of cars is increasing fast : singular
A number of cars are increasing fast : plural
Numbers of cars are increasing fast : plural
In 'the number of students' number is the headword (the main word) therefore the verb is singular. We're talking about the number (of whatever...)
'a number of students' - 'students' is the headword, we're talking about students...
I hope I've helped.
I know, I'm a bit late to join the poll.
The answer would be IS, because the Subject is a singular noun
This is similar to the classic trick question :
He is one of the scientists who ___ at the Institution. (work/works ?)
i chose are becous stusents is plural :cry:
If you were saying:
"The students ______ rising" you could use are, because you are referring to the students. But the original phrase says:
"The NUMBER of students ______ rising" so you have to use is because the sentence talks about the amount of students not about the students.
Hope this helps!
Pardon me, i need to make 5 posts to be able to share links so this one's essentially about nothing, much like the Seinfeld show. :-D
I chose "is" because the The number is singular.
Look to this similar sentence.
The playing of the computer games is interesting.
The number of students is rising. :tick:
The number of students are rising. :cross:
This is my special opinion. :-D