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The sentence is this: よく話で出てきます。

Here's how I looked at it:

  1. よく is the adverb "well".
  2. 話で is something like "by means of a story", unless で here is the て form of the copula.
  3. 出てきます looks to be a compound of 出る and 来る, with ます for politeness. I looked up 出てくる, and it seems to mean "come out".
  4. So reading literally, I get "it comes/will come out well by means of a story".

In a less literal, more English way, "it'll sound good in a story". Or maybe "it sounds good in the story", with the implication that in real life it actually doesn't sound good.

If the で is from the copula, then it could be "it'll come out well being a story". Less literally, "it'll be a good story". I know in the original sentence it can't be "good story", because よく isn't an adjective, I'm just trying to write it as I would in English.

I'm pretty rubbish at Japanese, and I'm a pessimist in general, so I'm assuming I'm wrong. Any help would be appreciated, even if you only write the meaning and don't explain. Thanks!

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In general (but not always), the word よく in the sentence-initial position is more likely to mean 'often'. When placed directly before the verb, it would be more likely to be the adverbial 'well'. The other parts of your grammatical analysis are generally fine, but misinterpreting よく has thrown you off, I think. Also, while 話 means story, it can also refer to just casual conversation.

So, without more context (the topic is missing), I would translate the sentence as follows:

よく話で出てきます。It often comes up in conversation.

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