"The woman receives a horse from her husband."
Translation:Kvinnan får en häst av sin man.
No, the normal preposition for receiving something as a gift from someone is av.
So is there an easily-definable rule to differentiate between från and av? Or is it just "One gets used in some cases, the other gets used in some cases, and you just have to sort of wing it until you internalize what those cases are"?
With a giver, it's av, but with origin like in the horse is from France it's från. A letter is also från if it's sent: hon fick ett brev från sin man = 'she got a letter from her husband' but hon fick ett brev av sin man = her husband gave her a letter.
So it seems like "från" is used when the emphasis is on the direction or origin of the item, or perhaps on the item itself, and "av" when the emphasis is on the "giving/receiving." That is, the distinction between "She received [a letter from her husband]" versus "She [received from her husband] a letter."
So in this particular sentence, the implication is "The woman receives-from-her-husband a horse" hence "av", as opposed to "The woman receives a horse-that-originated-with-her-husband."
I looked up and found out that få av is a particle verb, with the meaning get [something] off, as in få av sig kläderna (get one's clothes off). I was amused to realize that to receive something from someone is expressed in Swedish as getting it off of that person.
It isn't a particle verb here. A lot of verbs work like this in Swedish – they (or, to be more exact, the same combination of letters) can be either a particle verb or a verb plus a preposition. The difference is clear in speech because the particle is always stressed and the preposition isn't. In this case it's clear in writing too because if av had been a particle, it would have had to stay closer to the verb.
But in some cases there can be misunderstandings, even very embarrassing ones. For instance stöta på is a particle verb meaning 'run into' but stöta på is a (somewhat informal) verb + preposition meaning 'come on to'. So in writing, you can't tell whether Jag stötte på min chef på stan means 'I ran into my boss in town today' or 'I came on to my boss in town today'.
Very interesting and enlightening. Thanks, Arnauti, for clearing this up.
I got a multiple choice question for this and it marked me wrong because I didn't mark the other option, "Kvinnan får en häst av sin make." What's the difference between 'man' and 'make'? Does 'make' refer specifically to a husband?
Yes. Man is often used to mean husband, but can of course mean just man too.
Make always means husband.
make is not taught in the course so it should not appear in multiple choice questions (but it should be accepted). I've tried to fix that now, thanks for reporting.
I used "av hennes make" which got marked as correct - can you really say hennes instead of sin here?