Fly ashes do not have the same properties for different size fractions. It can be accepted that the effect of a fly ash on mortar strength is a combined effect of its size fractions. Therefore, it was concluded that by separating the size fractions and replacing cement with them, the combined bulk effect of a fly ash on strength can be better analysed. In this study, different size fractions of fly ash were used to replace cement partially in standard compressive strength mortars. We attempted to interpret the strength of Portland cement-fly ash mortars in terms of the chemical, minerological, morphological, and physical properties of different fly ash size fractions used. Strengths of the mortars were compared at 2, 7, 28, and 90 days. Also strength of mortars with all-in ash (original ash containing all the fractions) were estimated by using strength of mortars with size fractions and the suitability of this estimation was discussed. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.