For a basic example of _.partial I made this quick example that involves a method that accepts two arguments a, and b called foo. I then create a new method called bar with _.partial passing foo as the first argument to _.partial, and then a number literal of the value 40. The bar method will then me a method that works just like foo only the a argument is fixed at the value of 40, and the first argument of the resulting bar method will be the value for b in the foo method.
For a more complex example of how this comes in handy sometimes say I have a method that takes a lot of arguments. For example a 3d distance formula that will except six arguments for two points that exist in 3d space. So I want a method that uses this distance method only with one point fixed at the origin call fromOrgin, so that it only takes three arguments.
Place holders can be used to set what arguments will be accepted from the resulting new method, and what arguments will be fixed. So if I want a method where the first argument is to be what is accepted by the new method and the others are fixed that ca be done with place holders.