Determining the shear strength parameters of unsaturated soils generally involves costly, time-consuming and sophisticated testing programme. This paper proposes a new method for prediction of shear strength with respect to matric suction. The variation of shear strength with respect to matric suction is described by using the air-entry value and the internal friction angle of a soil specimen. The validity of the method is tested for a number of suction strength data available in the literature. The shear strengths with respect to matric suction obtained from the proposed method are in nicely good agreement with experimental results. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.