Spanish- preterite and imperfect


I'm doing some spanish lessons on lengalia. And one sentence translated like this

La familia vivía en la Plaza de Riego, número 36.

Why would it not be vivian to show they lived there

Also just any general explanation about the preterite and imperfect would be helpful. I know the preterite is for completed actions and that the imperfect is for the past where you can't necessarily put a number on things—example when i was a child i played sports (that would be the imperfect) but I feel like there are many other situations where i truly don't understand why the imperfect is being used.

All help is appreciated. 🙂

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