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Verbs that always use "se las" in Spanish

There's a group of three verbs that all have the meaning: "to find a way to achieve something after a certain amount of effort" which always use "se las" both in their infinitive and when they are conjugated, although "se" is reflexive, so must change depending on the subject, becoming: me, te, se, nos, os, se

These verbs are:

arreglárselas
apañárselas 
ingeniárselas

They are interchangeable because they all have the same meaning.

Let's see some examples:

Tranquila mamá, me las arreglaré para llegar a tiempo.Don't worry mom, I'll do whatever it takes to get there on time.

El estudiante se las apañó para librarse del examen.The student managed to get out of taking the exam.

¿Cómo te las vas a ingeniar para que te diga que sí?How on earth are you going to get him to say yes?

As you can see, the reflexive changes to match the subject but "las" is invariable. 

Also, look at how "para" is generally used after the verb because it's expressing a purpose.

If the verb is conjugated in a progressive tense using the present participle, "se las" can be placed at the end attached to the present participle, or it can be located in front of the whole verbal structure. For example:

¿Cómo están arreglándoselas para dormir los cinco en una habitación tan pequeña?How are the five of them managing to sleep in such a small room?

¿Cómo se las están arreglando los cinco para dormir en una habitación tan pequeña?How are the five of them managing to sleep in such a small room?

 

The same goes for a verbal structure using the infinitive, you can place it in the beginning or attached at the end:

¿Crees que Marta podrá arreglárselas para que acepten su oferta?Do you think Marta will be able to find a way to get them to accept her offer?

¿Crees que Marta se las podrá arreglar para que acepten su oferta?Do you think Marta will be able to find a way to get them to accept her offer?

With an affirmative imperative, the only possible placement is attached after the verb:

Daniel, apáñatelas como puedas, yo no te puedo ayudar más.Daniel, [you'll have to] manage as best you can, I can't help you anymore.

Ingénienselas para terminar los informes esta tarde.Do whatever you need to do to finish the reports this afternoon.

Apañáoslas para salir hoy temprano del trabajo.Do what you (plural informal) have to to leave work early today.

 

Notice how when the pronoun is attached to the verb forming a longer word, it has a written accent. This is in order to maintain the stress of the longer word on the same syllable as that of the conjugated verb (e.g. apaña → apáñatelas), following the rules of accentuation we must use an orthographic accent (tilde). 

 

The three verbs we are discussing are more colloquial than using the verb: conseguir [algo] and additionally they have the nuance of "making an effort" as explained previously.

Paco consiguió convencer a su novia para hacer el viaje a Roma.Paco managed to convince his girlfriend to take that trip to Rome.

Paco se las arregló / se las ingenió / se las apañó para convencer a su novia para hacer el viaje a Roma.Paco managed to convince his girlfriend to take that trip to Rome.

The first example simply says that he managed it. 

The second example also implies that in order to finally achieve it he had to make an extra effort and use his imagination even though it was difficult.

 

With arreglárselas / apañárselas / ingeniárselas, remember to use the correct reflexive pronoun that corresponds to the subject but "las" remains invariable. 

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Examples and resources

Apañáoslas para salir hoy temprano del trabajo.Do what you (plural informal) have to to leave work early today.
¿Cómo están arreglándoselas para dormir los cinco en una habitación tan pequeña?How are the five of them managing to sleep in such a small room?
¿Cómo se las están arreglando los cinco para dormir en una habitación tan pequeña?How are the five of them managing to sleep in such a small room?
El estudiante se las apañó para librarse del examen.The student managed to get out of taking the exam.
¿Crees que Marta podrá arreglárselas para que acepten su oferta?Do you think Marta will be able to find a way to get them to accept her offer?
¿Crees que Marta se las podrá arreglar para que acepten su oferta?Do you think Marta will be able to find a way to get them to accept her offer?
Daniel, apáñatelas como puedas, yo no te puedo ayudar más.Daniel, [you'll have to] manage as best you can, I can't help you anymore.
Ingénienselas para terminar los informes esta tarde.Do whatever you need to do to finish the reports this afternoon.
Paco consiguió convencer a su novia para hacer el viaje a Roma.Paco managed to convince his girlfriend to take that trip to Rome.
Paco se las arregló / se las ingenió / se las apañó para convencer a su novia para hacer el viaje a Roma.Paco managed to convince his girlfriend to take that trip to Rome.
¿Cómo te las vas a ingeniar para que te diga que sí?How on earth are you going to get him to say yes?
Tranquila mamá, me las arreglaré para llegar a tiempo.Don't worry mom, I'll do whatever it takes to get there on time.
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