Translation:I have had five horses, but now I only have three.
In my opinion, there is nothing in the DL exercise that implies that the five horses were owned at the same time. In other words, the DL English here could well be a shorter equivalent of:
At one time or another I have had as many as five horses, but now I have only three.
In fact, as a native English speaker, that is how I would interpret the DL English sentence here, precisely because the present perfect was used instead of the simple past!
It is worth noting that the current DL Swedish and English sentences here are accurate translations of each other. If you can't accept that there is a scenario in which you would use the perfect instead of the simple past in the opening clause of the English sentence, then I believe you cannot accept the Swedish sentence DL gives us here either.
It would be different if the sentence DL gives us were German rather than Swedish. German (especially in the southern part of the German-speaking world) regularly uses the perfect to refer to a single point in the past. And it would therefore be reasonable to translate a German perfect into an English simple past. But, if I understand correctly, Swedish does NOT use its perfect in that way. Swedish sentences using the perfect tenses are best translated into English using the perfect tenses.
I assume the Swedish sentence DL gives us here was written first and by a native speaker. It is possible he/she made a mistake and that in the Swedish sentence the simple Swedish past should have been used, then translated into English as an English simple past. But, as I argue as the beginning of this post, I think it is also possible to envision a scenario that calls for use of the perfect in both languages.
I agree. The present perfect implies something slightly different than what we would usually expect ("I had"). Imagine a conversation about boarding the horse at a nearby farm. Is there room? Will he be well cared for or will staff be overstretched? "Not at all. I have had [implying up to, as many as, at a time] five horses but now I have only three [therefore there will be plenty of space and time to properly attend to your horse]. No, not the usual sentence, or situation, but it works here.
on the contrary, Ion: the second part of the statement ("but now I have just three") strongly implies that there was a time this person owned five horses simultaneously. The comparison between the numbers (just three vs five) makes that obvious. The current translation, in present perfect tense, is in fact incorrect and should be discarded. Because of the implications mentioned above by Davisnin and others. It is not a proper translation of the Swedish - even though in Swedish it can be put in present perfect to convey this meaning
KDT, several of the commenters here -- davisnin, rnlddmrrs, and CMSchifflett, as well as myself -- agree that use of the present perfect suggests that the horses need not have been owned at the same time in the past.
I see no basis for your claim that the second part of the statement strongly implies otherwise.
I agree with davisnin on this. The allowed answer is a clumsy, inconsistent translation. We would never say 'have had' in US English in this type of sentence, i.e. when directly contrasting how many I previously had with how many I have now. Secondly, it's inconsistent because most times Duolingo will not require a literal translation from Swedish to English when that translation is not the way it's said in English, but this exercise is only allowing the literal translation as the correct answer.
I disagree with it inherently being clumsy English. Often times it is the best way to Express that something has been happening repeatedly and ongoingly. "They have had flooding in this area for years now."
On a vaguely relevant note, would you have to use singular verbs when using a singular they? "They runs a mile" "They has a cookie" That sort of thing
But this sentence isn't about something that's been happening repeatedly, it's about a period of time during which someone owned 5 horses simultaneously.
And no, the singular they still goes with plural verbs. Although you'd use singular verbs for people who use they/them pronouns if you refer to them by name, so you'd say "Sam runs a mile and afterwards they have a cookie."
Johanna you (and others here) are assuming that the sentence is about owning 5 horses simultaneously. But there is nothing in the DL exercise (no context) that implies that.
In other words, the DL sentence could very well be interpreted as the equivalent of either of the following sentences , which in English DO use the present perfect:
I have had five horses from time to time, but now I have only three.
At one time or another I have had five horses, but now I have only three.