In the article Multiple case roles by D.N.S. Bhat, I came across this:
(1) The cat climbed the tree.
(2) The cat climbed to the tree.
(1) implies that the cat climbed the tree from the ground itself, whereas (2) has no such implication. One could use (2), but not (1), if the cat has climbed to the tree from the roof.
Neither Merriam-Webster Online nor Oxford Learner's Dictionaries hint at the connotation of the usage in (1) (exhaustiveness). How does a non-native would know such a distinction?