1

The story may not be interesting.
The story may be not interesting.

For I’m not sure if ‘not’ can be placed both before and after ‘be,’ I looked up the COCA. It seems that both are possible. Are both grammatically acceptable? If they are, isn’t there semantic difference between the two?

1
  • 6
    I personally find the latter sentence clear but unidiomatic, if only because the concept of "not interesting" is typically expressed with the single word "uninteresting".
    – Dan Bron
    Dec 5, 2014 at 10:44

1 Answer 1

1

Grammatically speaking, the place of 'not' is between may and be. The correct and natural sentence is "The story may not be interesting.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .