The imperfect tense expresses an action or state of being that was continuous during the past and its completion is not specified.
Cuando tenía que estudiar inglés en la escuela, lo odiaba y no aprendía nada
When I had to study English at school, I hated it and I did not learn anything.
El almacenero que decía "a mí me gusta Gustavo" en la publicidad de Martínez pide al Estado un cambio de identidad para empezar una nueva vida.
The grocer who was saying ' I do like Gustavo' in the Martinez advertisement asks the State to provide him with a change of identity in order to start a new life.