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From what I understand に marks the destination of a verb, like まで。

僕が彼に愛を感じる  
僕が彼まで愛を感じる

Some explanation I find for に are:
1)に plainly wears many different hats, but I like to think of に as a grammatical targeting reticule as its usual function is to point at specific times, places, and things.
2)The に particle can specify a target of a verb. This is different from the を particle in which the verb does something to the direct object. With the に particle, the verb does something toward the word associated with the に particle.

Isn't this like まで since the verb does something towards that and then stops there?
Am I understanding the definition of target wrong?

  • 4
    We don't say 僕が彼まで愛を感じる. – Chocolate Sep 4 '16 at 23:20
  • I know that, but i mean that is similar regarding movements and direction, correct? – Splikie Sep 5 '16 at 9:58
  • 3
    Hmm... に and まで can mark destination (eg 京都に行く/京都まで行く), but here in your example sentence 「彼に愛を感じる」, the に doesn't mark 到達点(destination) but 対象(target/object). The sentence means 彼に対して愛を感じる. – Chocolate Sep 5 '16 at 15:18
  • I see, in my mind that feels like 彼 is the destination of my love. It may sound weird thai I think like this. Anyway, does に mark the direction of a verb? When I see it in a sentence I kind of go blank. Example 僕が彼にりんごを食べさせた。When you see に in a sentence like this, how do you understand it before you see the verb? Do you see it as the target or the direction of the verb that has yet to come? – Splikie Sep 5 '16 at 16:04
  • Yes, に very often marks the direction of a verb. I understand that you feel the に in 彼に愛を感じる marks the direction (but I don't feel it's destination), like "feel love towards him". (The sentence can also be understood as "I feel love in him," with the に marking the location.) When I see/hear just 「僕は彼にりんごを…」, my brain expects several possibilities that the に can be "to" (direction), "from" (≂から; source?), or "by"(≂によって; subject of passive verb) etc, as in 「彼にりんごをあげた」「彼にりんごをもらった」「彼にりんごを食べられた」. – Chocolate Sep 6 '16 at 0:03
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http://www.seiku.net/kotowaza/03_02.html -- ‎ 愛、屋烏に及ぶ ( あい、おくうにおよぶ ) : 意味: 人を激しくまた真剣に愛すると、その愛する人が住んでいる家の屋根に留まっている烏をも愛するようになる。

I think... If you want to use まで , you may have to use a stronger or more explicit verb like 及ぶ

------ as in :

4ji.za-yu.com/2013/09/post_465.html ‎ 愛及屋烏とはこんな意味の四字熟語です.

意 味:愛憎の情はその人だけでなく、その人に関係するものにまで及ぶ。

  • Maybe I should have asked like this. When you read a word+に what comes in your mind? I go blank when I find it because it feels vague to me. – Splikie Sep 5 '16 at 21:04
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(1) 僕が彼に愛を感じる
(2) 僕が彼まで愛を感じる

As for the given sentence (1), it is difficult to interpret it with letting it have the connotation of the questioner's intention like "He is the destination of my love. or I feel my love to him".

As for the sentence (2), we don't say it, which is commented by Chocolate.

If I interpret the sentence (1) as it is, the interpretation may become quite different from what is meant by the questioner. My interpretation becomes as follows:

(1)' I feel that he loves somebody or something.

Moreover, the sentence (1) is not a little natural as Japanese, so (1) is recommended to be written by changing the particle "が" to "は" like:

(3) 僕は彼に愛を感じる

Putting aside the "が" problem, if you want to make the sentence (1) into natural ones having the intended connotation of that "I feel my love to him", I would rewrite it like:

(4) 僕は彼への愛を感じる / (4)' 彼への愛を僕は感じる
I feel my love to him.

(5) 僕は彼に対{たい}する愛を感じる / (5)' 彼に対{たい}する愛を僕は感じる
I feel my love for him.

(6) 僕は彼を愛していることを感じる / (6)' 彼を愛していることを僕は感じる
I feel that I love him.

(7) 僕は彼に私の愛が向{む}いているの(/こと)を感じる / (7)' 彼に私の愛が向いているの(/こと)を僕は感じる
I feel that my love aims at him.

(8) 僕は彼に私の愛が憑{と}りついているのを感じる / (8)' 彼に私の愛が憑{と}りついているのを私は感じる
I feel that my love sticks to/in him.

All of the sentences from (4) to (8) have a structure as follows:

(9) 僕は「A」を感じる / (9)' 「A」を僕は感じる

Apparently, the part "A" is a noun phrase or a noun clause.
On the other hand, the sentence (1) or (3) has a construction as:

(10) 僕が/は 「彼に愛を」 感じる

"彼に愛を" is neither a noun phrase nor a noun clause, then what?

Before that, the possessor of the "愛" is not clear in (1) and (3).
As for the possessor of the "愛", there are two choices: my 愛 and his 愛.
In the context, you have no choice but the "愛" is "my 愛".
Then you have to make the possession of 愛 clear in the sentence as:

(11) 僕が/は 「彼に」「僕の愛を」 感じる
(11)' I feel my love 「彼に」.

There may be several interpretation for (11) or (11)'.

(12) I feel my love at him.
(13) I feel my love in him.
(14) I feel my love for him.

What is the acceptable interpretation for the questioner?
Alas, the most possible interpretation of (11) or (11)' is that:

(15) I feel that he has my love.

I know this is not the acceptable interpretation of the sentence (1) having the meaning of "He is the destination of my love" or "I feel my love to him".

As the whole, it is difficult to let the sentence (1) have one of the meaning from (4) to (8).

Last but not least.
Let's think about the difference between the three sentences depending on three different particles "に", "まで" and "へ" based on the sentence 「京都に行く」(I go to Kyoto) which is given in the Chocolate's comment.

(16) 私は京都に行く
(17) 私は京都まで行く
(18) 私は京都へ行く

Each of them has the same meaning as "I go to Kyoto".
More precisely, they have the meaning respectively as:

(16)' に - I go to the place where Kyoto is.
(17)' まで - I go as far as to Kyoto
(18)' へ - I go to/towards Kyoto

Though they have the same meaning, the viewpoint or the subject of concern are different from each other as follows:

(16) に – the arrival point Kyoto
(17) まで – the route to Kyoto or the middle way of passing to Kyoto
(18) へ – the starting point to Kyoto

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