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The subjunctive imperfect is not always used in formal writing even when it should be, and basically never used in speech. Using it in speech is not only formal but definitely stilted. It is surely de rigueur for a speech at the Académie française but nobody uses it in ordinary life. Where formal grammar requires a subjunctive imperfect, normal speech ...


As a non-native speaker, I really try to avoid the subjunctive whenever possible. Of course, just not using it when perhaps it should be used is certainly an option (and it's one that I employ quite/too often), but whenever I’m aware of a legitimate, nearly synonymous, indicative alternative to the “ … que + subjonctif” clause in question, I try to remember ...


You are correct, subjunctive imperfect is no different than subjunctive present, except for the explicit past tense. In spoken language it is common practice to substitute one for the other (or often indicative imperfect, which is broadly used) though, as Random suggested above. I always assumed it is often disregarded in modern spoken language because of ...


copy that / roger that -> Reçu ! or Bien reçu ! over -> À vous !, or Parlez !, or Transmettez ! over and out -> Terminé ! do you read me? -> Est-ce que vous me recevez ? or Essai radio ! yes/no -> Affirmatif / Négatif

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