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Some shinobi can identify the nature of the technique just by looking at the hand seals . How ?

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    See here. They mention that some seals are generally associated with some particular Nature Releases. – JNat Jan 17 '15 at 12:47
  • During Kakashi's test at the inception of Team 7, Sasuke also (mistakenly) identifies the Thousand Years of Pain as a fire seal, causing him to warn Naruto and reveal his location. – zibadawa timmy Jun 3 '15 at 7:21
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Just as @JNat mentioned in the comment,

some seals are generally associated with some particular Nature Releases.

Throughout the entire fight between Deidara and Sasuke, Deidara constantly uses one hand seal, which enables Sasuke to identify the Nature Release.

enter image description here

The hand seal he used was the Snake (巳, Mi) hand seal.

enter image description here
(click on picture for basic hand seals list)

The Snake hand seal is commonly affiliated with Earth Release, and also with Wood Release. In most cases, the hand seals are done with such speeds that the opponent cannot identify any of the seals used. But Sasuke, having the Sharingan, was able to see all of Deidara's hand seals clearly; as he tells during the fight:

"When facing the Sharingan, you really ought to weave your signs out of the line of sight."

A shinobi can thereby deduce what release their opponent is using by carefully observing the hand seals. It is highly useful since it enables the shinobi to determine the enemies weakness and provide counter-jutsu.

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