Can I just say "A hundred fifty thousand people" without "and" in the middle?
Yes, you can say "a hundred fifty thousand people" instead. Both are the same amount of people, and both are used interchangeably. "And" is not necessary here, but many may use it because they may like the sound of it better. However, it would be best if you used "and" when decimals are involved, especially when discussing money or time. It would sound odd to a native English speaker if you did not use "and" when discussing decimals. Ex: Around seven hundred and thirty thousand people live in Seattle. = Around seven hundred thirty thousand people live in Seattle. Ex: I have eight dollars and thirty-five cents. Ex: We have a three and a half hour flight ahead of us.
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