"It is hard to take notes."
The の functions as a nominalizer. It turns the verb/verb phrase ("take notes") into a noun/noun phrase ("taking notes" or "to take notes").
This の is being used to turn the entire previous clause into a noun for the purpose of constructing the sentence. So it changes the meaning to "(the act of) taking notes".
Why is たいへん inappropriate here, when it seems to be interchangeable with 難しい in most sentences?
I am afraid my question is more basic. I am having trouble with sentences like this determining the object from the subject. [Hey, not my fault. I am a product of the American educational system. ]
So am I to understand (from Duo) that the note is the object, and that "to take" is the subject? It would seem more likely that either the notes are the subject, or the difficulty is (It is HARD)?
ノート (note) is the object as it is marked by the を particle. とるの (to take) is the subject, because it is followed by the は particle. This may be confusing because usually duolingo puts the subject before the object, but in this case it is backwards.
Japanese grammar is not explained very well by duolingo, so if you want to learn it I recommend Tae Kim's blog. It helps a lot.
Thanks, but that's sort of the reverse of the question. The question was in English, so deciding the object and the subject by the particles is not available. That's what I am often getting incorrect - switching the "wa" and "o".
Sad to say, but English is my native language!
Oh, I see. It appears that Duo doesn't care about keeping the subject-object arrangement the same on both ends of the translation.
I have the same problem (and I expect a lot of us do). A sentence like "John hit the ball." is easy. But there are some like "Tomorrow I will go to see a movie." ??? I would say that "I" is the topic and movie is the object. But Duo says that "Tomorrow" is the topic, and that the translation is ashita wa rather than ashita ni. Sometimes I have to realize that even native speakers don't always get it right either, and that learning any language - even my native English - is always a work in progress.
isn't the "take" used here an English expression? Instead of 取るの, would "ノートの書い" more natural?