I have come across sentences using past tense in if-clause and present tense in the main clause, such as:

1) A hamster is pregnant for only about three weeks and up to 20 babies can seemingly appear overnight in a hamster's nest if you didn't know your hamster was pregnant.

2) Hamsters will eat more when they are pregnant and nursing, but otherwise their diet will remain the same as if they weren't.

Are they grammatically correct and do you classify them as "mixed conditionals"?

Original Post

Hi, Toaha,

(1) is not a conditional sentence as you know it, because the clause introduced by "if" contains a verb in real past:

- If (it is a fact that) you didn't know your hamster was pregnant, the appearance of babies in your hamster's nest can take you by surprise.

The clause in sentence (2) is actually a clause of manner or comparison which can be broken down as a conditional sentence:

2') Hamsters will eat more when they are pregnant and nursing, but otherwise their diet will remain the same as it would if they weren't.

 

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