Large eddy simulation of planar shear flow past a square cylinder has been investigated. Dynamic Smagorinsky model has been used to model subgrid scale stress. The shear parameter, K, namely the nondimensional streamwise velocity gradient in the lateral direction, is 0.0, 0.1 and 0.2. Reynolds number based on the centerline velocity is fixed at Re=21400. The time and span-averaged velocity components, pressure coefficient, Reynolds stresses for uniform are in good agreement with the literature. In shear flow the calculated flow structure and mean velocity components are shown to be markedly different from those of the uniform flow. With increasing shear parameter, the cylinder wake is dominated by clockwise vortices. Both the velocity components in shear flow are compared with respective components in uniform flow. Comparison of normal and shear stresses between shear and no shear case have also been presented. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.