By Mary Morel
The rules around using hyphens with adverbs are not clear cut.
No hyphen with y and ly adverbs
The basic rule is that a descriptive phrase consisting of an adverb ending in y or ly and an adjective are not hyphenated.
The rationale is that the adverb is modifying the adjective, rather than the two words acting as a single unit.
a very good meal
rapidly declining dollar
gently rocking cradle
highly likely outcome
easily defeated vote
It is common to see other adverbs hyphenated.
Online grammar programs
Learn more about punctuation and grammar with one of my online courses.