Abstract Using event-related functional MRI, we examined the involvement of the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) in semantic integration in reading Chinese sentences. During scanning, Chinese readers read individually presented sentences and judged whether or not a sentence was semantically acceptable. Behaviorally, those sentences with a small degree of semantic violation were found to be more difficult to reject relative to sentences with a large degree of semantic violation, indicating that more semantic integration occurred in the former than in the latter condition. Direct contrast revealed significantly greater brain activity in the LIFG for sentences with a small violation, relative to those with a large violation, but no differences in any anterior temporal cortical areas between the two types of anomalous sentences. The results are in line with the idea that the LIFG plays a critical role in integrating individual word meanings to coherent sentence-level messages, but not with the idea that semantic integration depends on anterior temporal cortex in language comprehension.