The Total number of ... is are

Aamir Tariq

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Joined
Mar 28, 2016
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Interested in Language
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Urdu
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Pakistan
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Which auxiliary verb should be used in the following situation, is or are?

The total number of students is 24 in the tenth grade.
The total number of students are 24 in the tenth grade.
 

Tarheel

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Jun 16, 2014
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American English
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United States
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Which auxiliary verb should be used in the following situation, "is" or "are"?

The total number of students is 24 in the tenth grade.
The total number of students are 24 in the tenth grade.

Use is.

The total number ... is ....
 

TheParser

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The total number of students is 24 in the tenth grade.
The total number of students are 24 in the tenth grade.


NOT A TEACHER

The rule is this: Use the singular verb for "the number" and use the plural verb for "a number." (Source: Kenneth G. Wilson, The Columbia Guide to Standard American English (1993), page 302.)

I have made up these sentences.

1. The number of patients is declining.
2. The number of patients is 100 in that hospital.
3. The number of patients has declined.

4. A number of students have decided to study a foreign language, but I do not know the exact number.
5. A number of students in that class love to diagram sentences.
6. A number of students in my class idolize our English teacher for her scholarship, kindness, and humility.
 
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