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
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.
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.
The number of students are rising.
This is my special opinion.