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This post says

Have you ever wondered how many atoms are in a drop of water or how many molecules are in a single droplet?

If I rewrite this as

Have you ever wondered how many atoms there are in a drop of water ...

Is this still idiomatic? in other words, are both with and without "there" idiomatic?

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  • @BillJ Thanks for your reminder. updated. – zghqh Jan 28 '20 at 8:24
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X atoms are in a drop of water

is idiomatic as is

There are X atoms in a drop of water.

I suspect that "there are" is likely to be more common, at least in the U.S. because "it is" and "there are" are ubiquitous constructions there. Stylistically, I prefer "X atoms are" as more concise, but that is mere opinion.

Because both declarative sentences are idiomatic so are the questions formed from them.

How many atoms are in a drop of water?

or

How many atoms are there in a drop of water?

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