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The imperfect tense is used when we refer to something that occurred in the past and continued or re-occurred over an extended period of time.

used + the infinitive form


I used to go to this beach every summer.  

The beach used to be the most beautiful beach in the world. 

was/were + the present participle  (the continuous participle)

The little town on the Mediterranean Sea was growing, but other towns were losing population. 

While the city planners were building apartments and condominiums, the tourist industry continued to grow. 

would + basic form

The children would swim every evening at sunset. 

They would walk to the beach and swim in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean.  

simple past (with an adverb of frequency)


The regattas were always the biggest event of the summer.

 When I was a child living in Sidney, Australia,  I always watched the regattas.