He was one of those in Haley who had died in World War II, killed by American bomb, actually, while being held prisoner by the Germans.

If the part in bold is made into a complete while-clause, which is it going to be?

(1) while they were held prisoner

(2) while they were bing held prisoner
1 2
while [they were] being held prisoner
Good.

MM, what do you think is the difference between 'they were held prisoner' and 'they were being held prisoner', by the way?
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No, not really here, but look what you were trying to do:

while being held prisoner by the Germans.

(1) while [they were] held prisoner

(2) while [they were] being held prisoner

It must be obvious that it is not #1!
MM, do you think it's always an ellipsis of 'subject+be' when we have 'conjunction+doing'?

e.g

Because the Japanese try not to offend when refusing, they avoid using 'no' except in intimate circumstances where the speakers know each other very well.
Well, no: When refusing is impolite, the gracious person accepts.
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The refusing in your example is a gerund, which is grammatically different from that in my example, isn't it?
Yes, that's right.
And the 'when refusing' in my example, you don't think it's an ellipsis of 'when they are refusing', or do you?
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