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?

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    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 '14 at 10:44

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

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