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how can you tell what abilities are activated abilities?
Activated abilities are written as [COST] : [EFFECT]
Look for the Colon.

Also, you need to start actually putting something in the Title of your Thread; Simply having a Question mark is NOT good enough.
how can you tell what abilities are activated abilities?

By comparing them to the definition.

602.1. Activated abilities have a cost and an effect. They are written as “[Cost]: [Effect.] [Activation restriction (if any).]” The activation cost is everything before the colon (:). An ability’s activation cost must be paid by the player who is activating it.
[indent]Example: The activation cost of an ability that reads “, : You gain 1 life” is two mana of any color plus tapping the permanent that has the ability.[/indent]

No, I am not a judge. That's why I like to quote sources such as the rules that trump judges.

how can you tell what abilities are activated abilities?

We know you have a question. The subject line exists for a reason. We don't need half a dozen threads on the front page titled "?"

Activated abilities are anything written as [COST] : [EFFECT]
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