For example, "J'ai failli le faire" vs "Il s'en est fallu de peu que je le fasse."
They are very close in meaning , it is the difference between to be close to doing something and to almost do something.
Up to you to judge which one to use...
I don't get the 2nd one...what is exact translation?
It is indeed a very interesting impersonal expression -
S'en falloir de peu/d'un cheveu etc. = to have been close to something by a very little margin
Take a look at the following examples to clarify its use, often in the perfect tense and is followed by a subjunctive :
Il s'en est fallu d'un cheveu qu'ils gagnent cette élection = They came within a hair of winning this election
Il s'en est fallu de peu que tu te fasses renverser par la voiture = You came so close to being run over by the car
Hope this helps!
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