This paper focusses on the so-called partitive pronoun in French and Dutch, and the corresponding data in German, a language which is assumed not to have partitive pronouns in its standard, in contrast to certain dialectal varieties. Taking the diverse uses of the French partitive pronoun en as a starting point, we investigate the corresponding constructions in Dutch and German. The ultimate aim of the paper is to develop an analysis accounting for the similarities and differences between these languages in relation to the presence/absence of the partitive pronoun. To reach our objectives, we rely on data collected in a Grammaticality Judgment Test taken by native speakers of French, Dutch and German. We put together theory and experimental data in a crosslinguistic perspective investigating three languages that differ in their uses of partitive elements and formalize the results in a model in which the partitive pronoun can replace different portions of the nominal structure.