In this study the effect of cyclic loads on monotonic shear strength has been studied on torsional apparatus. Tests have been conducted on both reconstituted and undisturbed fine-grained hollow soil specimens. The plasticity index of soils is in the range frorn 2 to 33 for reconstituted specimens, prepared by dry pluviation, and from 5 to 13 for undisturbed soil specimens. The existence of a critical shear strain level, called yield shear strain, where softening starts, is determined from cyclic tests. The level of cyclic yield strain is 0.75% for the reconstituted soil specimens and 0.5% for the undisturbed soils. If soil undergoes a cyclic shear strain level below the cyclic yield strain, reduction of monotonic strength of reconstituted and undisturbed specimens is limited, but when cyclic shear strain level is larger than yield strain monotonic strength decreases (town to 40% of its initial strength. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.