Until you get used to it, the imperfect subjunctive might not "look right." A reader of this site recently wrote to ask me if the final verb in this sample sentence in a lesson via email was correct: El presidente, Jorge Bush, me telefoneó para pedirme que aceptara la asignación. (The president, George Bush, phone to ask me to accept the assignment.)
Indeed, that is correct. The imperfect subjunctive isn't the most common verb form, but a good rule to remember is that one situation where the imperfect subjunctive is used is when requests or commands made in the past follow que.
- Mi amigo me pidió que saliera. My friend asked me to leave.
- La ley mandó que bajáramos la música. The law required that we turn down the music.
- Insistí que nos llamaren. I insisted that they call us.
Of course, requests made in the present can be referred to in the present-tense subjunctive: Prefiero que vengas conmigo. I prefer that you come with me.