"They have followed me all day."
Translation:Zij hebben mij de hele dag gevolgd.
For the verb volgen, is there a difference when you use zijn or hebben to form the present perfect?
Yeah, there is a difference. In some cases, both are correct. Other times, only one of them is correct. That's because 'volgen' has different meanings.
- Both 'zijn' and 'hebben' can be used if 'volgen' means 'to follow/to go after', or if it means 'to copy' and it is combined with an objective. ("Tom sprong als eerste in het water; Koen is/heeft hem iets later gevolgd.")
- Only 'zijn' can be used if 'volgen' means 'to copy', and it is not combined with an objective. ("Tom sprong als eerste in het water; Koen is iets later gevolgd." The sentence is a bit unnatural to me, but not incorrect. I would use the other one, though.)
- Only' hebben' can be used if 'volgen' means 'to follow a trail', 'to attend', 'to follow a story/series/etc.' ("We hebben dat pad de hele dag gevolgd.")
For this sentence, it means it can be either; both 'zijn' and 'hebben' are correct.
This was a good explanation, but if you use it wrongly, they won't even notice. Even native speakers struggle with this, don't worry. The same with for example 'zijn/hebben vergeten' which means to have forgotten (to take with you)'.