This is very commonly reported as the error due to the use of the wrong version of SSMS(Sql Server Management Studio). You must use a version which is designed for your database version. To ease your task you can use below command to check which version of the sql server you are currently using.
This version is reported to user in a way that is easier to interpret for him than that shown in a Help About in SSMS.
Using the newer version of SSMS than the database version you are using is generally error-free, it is always backward compatible.
I ran into this problem recently when my SQL Server 2014 standard was installed on the server where the SQL Server Express was also installed. I had opened the SSMS from my desktop shortcut, not realizing right away that it was the SSMS for SQL Server Express, not for 2014. SSMS for Express returned me error, but a SQL Server 2014 did not.