Why wouldn't 'Do you want the salad' be correct? Like if you ordered if from a menu? Mine was marked wrong.
The very same happened to me. I did not think it would make too much difference seen as how Russian has no direct translation of the articles, "a" and "the"
This noun has a special partitive form, so if you want to say ”some salad”, you can ask «не хочешь салату?».
I'm confused now. I get (I think) "салата" because you've changed it to genitive which is used for parts of a whole or "some". But the "Не" I don't understand.
Не is "not", so the sentence translates to something like "don't you want some salad" or "how about having some salad". It can be omitted no problem though - (не) хочешь салат/а/у?
Is салат the nominative form? I assume this is the accusative case; so according to the rules as I understand them an inanimate masculine noun would remain in nominative form.