Hypothetically speaking, suppose English were a language with a more complex declension system in which cases were formed by adding the suffixes:

becomes nonsensical in English if the words are rearranged (because there are no cases):

Using the case suffixes invented for this example, the original sentence would read:

By contrast, a few nouns (like man/men) are slightly more complex in their forms. In this example, all four forms are pronounced distinctly.

The one situation where gender is still clearly part of the English language is in the pronouns for the third person singular. Consider the following:

The genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative also have important functions to indicate the object of a preposition.