This work takes the variation in syntactic configurations that precipitation verbs display in non-metaphorical contexts in English, French, and Spanish as a case study to examine more general questions about the notions of argument and argumenthood, and how arguments and other elements are introduced in the syntax. It also proposes a unified analysis of such constructions based on a constructivist model (Borer 2005). Specifically, it argues that the syntactic variation attested in this case is a by-product of the combination of general language constraints along with particular features of the functional elements (expletive types), and a general property of the architecture of the grammar: the possibility to merge (and pronounce) the same element in different syntactic positions. The latter explains away: the denominal character of precipitation verbs (Hale & Keyser 1991), thus, the presence of a DP that shares the verb’s root (or a hyponym), and the syntactic and interpretational properties of the DP. In the same vein, some properties and constraints linked to precipitation constructions are reanalyzed as expected outcomes of specific structural configurations, and/or pragmatic effects. The paper also includes a detailed examination of the syntactic evidence that has been put forth to establish the argument status of weather-it, and concludes that once the full interpretation of the syntactic constructions is taken into account, such a claim cannot be justified. Although this work subscribes to the generative tradition, the empirical discussion developed here is relevant beyond this framework.