4

The pattern is if something possible, but not believed by the speaker, then something ridiculous, impossible, or obviously untrue Examples: If he has a university degree, (then) I'm a Dutchman (said by somebody not Dutch) If that's a good paint job, (then) I'm a monkey's uncle. If he owns a Cadillac, my name is Jesus J. Jones. (said by someone whose name is ...


3

With a hypothetical if, the verb form depends upon the verb. For be in the present tense, we use the subjunctive form were: If I were you, I wouldn't do that. For all other verbs and tenses, we backshift the tense- the same as for reported speech: If I become rich, I will buy a big house - possible future I I became rich, I would buy a big house - ...


2

Both correct, equivalent to each other. I don't see any difference.


2

“Would we be” would be incorrect, as, even in spite of carelessness and cowardice, we actually are on the brink. I would agree that the two parts of that phrase are somewhat disjointed, and should be interpreted as being somewhat poetic. The second part, to me, really represents a kind of wistful exclamation, as though it could also be written as: yet with ...


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