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My question is as the title. The English equivalent is: There is a middle school in our village.

I know the correct one is "我们村里有一所中学". But I think adding 在 at the beginning is also okay. So I am surprised when someone told me "在" shouldn't be there. Can anyone explain why?

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Actually, "在我们村里有一所中学" is the equivalent Chinese expression of "There is a middle school in our village."

And the equivalent English expression of "我们村里有一所中学" should be "Our village have a middle school."

"在我们村里有一所中学" often used in written language, if you mean spoken language, "我们村里有一所中学" is more often used than "在我们村里有一所中学".

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我们村里有一所中学 = 在我们村里有一所中学

Both of them are correct. Adding "在" makes it a bit more formal.

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